Westcountry set for first Ikea store as plans approved in Exeter
The first Ikea store in the Westcountry is set to be built in Exeter.
Councillors backed a recommendation to approve plans for the store – the closest outlet is currently in Bristol - at a meeting of the city council’s planning committee on Monday evening.
Exeter’s Ikea is expected to have an annual turnover of £52m by 2018, with an average of £1m going through its tills every week.
The store would create 380 new jobs – the equivalent of 256 full time posts.
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The scale of the jobs created could lead to a 20% reduction in the number of people looking for work in the city.
The report, drawn up by planning officers with information supplied by Ikea, claims that the store would have a major impact on the whole economy of Exeter.
It estimates the benefit to the city centre, through people travelling into Exeter having visited the store, could be as much as £19.5m.
The proposed store – which is expected to divert around £14m of trade from Ikea’s Bristol store – is expected to generate an additional 390,000 annually trips into the city centre.
Following the approval Cllr Rachel Sutton said: "I think it is an exciting opportunity for the city.
“I know better than most the amount of time that has gone in. There are a number of reasonable concerns raised around the transport links but a lot raised have been addressed."
The development which would be built on land off the A379 between Exeter Chiefs home Sandy Park and Newcourt Way, also includes plans for up to 220 new homes, which have been approved unanimously.