Ikea has lodged an appeal after its plans for a new high street format store were turned down by Hillingdon Council.
The decision by the council comes in the face of public support for Ikea’s in-town policy from the deputy prime minister John Prescott.
The council rejected the plans, which included a 274,760 sq ft (25,526 sq m), six-storey store on top of a refurbished Hillingdon Tube station, on 5 October.
Its concerns were over traffic congestion and air quality. A ward councillor at the planning meeting said: ‘There has been a lack of community involvement in the plans. There are concerns regarding opening hours, heavy goods vehicles and the increase in traffic.’
The council is also concerned that ‘the density of the housing if the proposal goes ahead would provide poor living conditions for those housed there’.
An Ikea spokeswoman said: ‘We believe that, notwithstanding the council’s decision, our scheme relates well to the policies in the London Plan, and to national planning policy. We hope to secure an appeal date in the late spring.’
Ikea has had more fortune elsewhere. In November it won planning permission for its first city centre development, a seven-storey store in Coventry.
Ikea is working on a planning application for a third city centre scheme. It is also searching for further city centre sites in London and large cities.
Ikea has been forced to look to city centre schemes after being frustrated by planning regulations in its bid to expand its out-of-town network.