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Greenwich Ikea plans 'on hold' after government intervention
Fans of flat-packed Swedish furniture could face disappointment after plans for a Greenwich Ikea were put on hold by the government.
The furniture giant's outline plans to demolish Sainsbury's at Bugbys Way and replace it with a brand new store were approved by a Greenwich Council planning board.
But the idea has prompted opposition, with residents' groups, councillors and others writing to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, requesting a public inquiry.
Sarah Howard from the No Ikea Greenwich group said: "On Wednesday this week we received notice from the National Planning Casework Unit that an Article 25 "holding order" has been issued which stops Greenwich Council issuing planning approval until the Secretary of State has reviewed this case."
She said: "It's a massive victory. They wouldn't normally do that and it means the whole planning process has ground to a halt."
The group say the store will cause increased traffic congestion and pollution, while objections have also been raised about knocking down the Sainsbury's - a pioneering eco-store.
Ms Howard said she was also disappointed that a meeting held to discuss the plans this week by Greenwich Millennium Village residents was reportedly snubbed by Ikea.
She said: "They failed to turn up without any explanation. Ikea has also said that it would make contact with campaigners against the store, but there has been contact so far."
Deputy property manager for Ikea UK Steve Pettyfer said: "We are aware that the Department for Communities and Local Government is reviewing our proposal for Greenwich application, as is customary with plans of this size.
"We are continuing to work with all stakeholders and the local community as we move towards the next stage in the planning application process to ensure our final plans represent the most appropriate IKEA store for the Greenwich community."
He added: "We were pleased to be invited to attend the Greenwich Millennium Village Association residents' meeting on May 21 to share our plans for the Greenwich store.
"Unfortunately, due to a personal matter, our representative was unable to attend and prior to the meeting contacted the association secretary to pass on his apologies and arrange to attend the next residentsﾒ meeting."
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