Meadowhall’s parent company has added its voice to the objectors opposing plans for a new Ikea store in Sheffield - making a case against the scheme on traffic grounds.
MSC Property Holdings, the joint venture between British Land and Norge Bank which owns the shopping centre, has submitted a letter and evidence against the proposals.
The partnership’s objection comes after John Lewis claimed an out-of-town Ikea would damage city centre trade.
Ikea has applied to build a £60 million, 37,000 sq feet store off Sheffield Road, Carbrook – on the former Tinsley Wire Betafence site – creating up to 700 jobs.
British Land, which is also creating a new Next Home and Garden store on nearby Vulcan Road, is previously understood to have been working with Ikea to develop a nearby site, before Ikea decided to proceed in Carbrook. But Mark Underwood, of Deloitte, agent for MSC, said an interim transport assessment of vehicles heading to and from Ikea was ‘inadequate’.
In a letter to Sheffield Council, he said: “The assessment does not provide sufficient information to allow transport impacts to be thoroughly assessed in regard to key junctions and additional traffic.
“It is considered the underestimation of the traffic impacts of the development would lead to a failure to propose sufficient highway works to mitigate the likely impacts of the proposed development.”
Mr Underwood said the existing traffic assessment was ‘flawed and therefore not robust’.
Incomplete information in the traffic assessment included lack of estimated traffic for Saturdays – a peak day for Meadowhall – and ‘no reference to existing queuing’ on roads around the Ikea site.
Mr Underwood added the inadequacies had a knock-on effect on the validity of air quality and environmental assessments.
The Highways Agency, which manages the nearby M1, has also issued a notice, backed by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, delaying any decision on planning permission.
It orders that a decision on Ikea is not be made until at least October.
Ian Nicholson, Ikea’s Sheffield project manager, said: “We will respond to these representations in due course, through our continued discussions with the council during the planning process.
A spokeswoman for British Land added: “We are supportive in principle of an Ikea, but the local highway network should be properly upgraded to meet the traffic created.”