IKEA on the Peninsula?

So this kicked off yesterday – the proposal by IKEA to move to the site Sainsburys is vacating /Comet has already vacated on the Peninsula. And it brings on much to think about.

To be honest I am really going to miss the fact that I can walk to Sainsburys at the moment. I understand commercially why Sainsburys are adamant that they’re not going to let a food retailer into their old spot, but it’s definitely less convenient for a very small bunch of people into which I fall, so hey, I’m not wild about it. At least their removal to Charlton will mean that I visit the indie shops more than I confess I do at the moment. I don’t want a twenty minute trudge each way just to get a few groceries and a Phantom cannot live by meatballs and strange Nordic preserves alone.

I’m not a huge fan of IKEA furniture – I’d always rather go down the secondhand route and get something that doesn’t look exactly the same as everyone else’s – but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a couple of Billys knocking around Phantom Towers.

But in classic NIMBY mode, do I really want one that close to me? I very very rarely visit IKEA – am trying without luck to remember last time I did. I’d rather have local shops that I might use more than once in a blue moon than the local roads clogged by people coming to a notorious traffic blackspot, but I realise that I’m just one Phantom and many people do like to go there.

And that could be an issue. The roads leading up to the Blackwall tunnel are already scarily busy and often jammed, especially around the flyover/roundabout. The idea of Saturday/Sunday traffic being even more full of angry people who have come for a nice day out at IKEA (I have only seen more ding-dongs in the local ASDA – how can so many angry people be in one place?) really worries me.

I’m not totally against one gigantic retailer taking the spot over any other one. It’s a commercial retail park, there will be commercial retailers in it. But I will be going to the open day hour and a half on Saturday the 9th November between 10 and 11.30am at the Forum and I will be asking the following questions. I would like you to ask some of your own.

  • Is the site actually big enough for an IKEA – and if not do they intend to make it two or even three storeys high? At the moment it’s low-rise – especially the Sainsburys, which did its best to be as unobtrusive as possible. I’d like to avoid a retail Manhattan if at all possible.
  • Is the car park big enough? It’s already a pig to get in and out of.
  • Can the roads around it, especially the roundabout under the flyover, cope? I have a horrid feeling not.
  • I assume the tellytubby Sainsburys will go. I seem to remember it only got planning permission because it was all eco (could be wrong there). Is there any sign at all that the IKEA store will be a) reusing materials they harvest from demolition and b) making any attempt to be eco themselves?
  • What will happen to the baby eco park at the back of Sainsburys? If you’re not sure what it is see here . I would like to see this little haven for wildlife, which was created as a Section 106, preserved.


But much to discuss here. What are your thoughts?

19 Comments to “IKEA on the Peninsula?”

  1. Old China says:

    My first thought is “thank God I won’t have to rent a car and drive to Croydon/ Lakeside to visit IKEA any more”. My second thought is to worry about additional traffic to our area.

    I did hear that a Sainsbury’s will be popping up in some of that new building work on the corner of Blackwall Lane and Trafalgar Rd but not sure if that’s true or not. I’d like it to be true though.

  2. Thing is, if Sainsburys pop up that far west , it’s only a quick hop and a skip to Co-Op anyway.

    If they really want to saturate, they should be looking further east along Woolwich Road.

    No – I’ll be going to the place that used to be Shivas but whose somewhat generaic new name permanently escapes me these days.

  3. Paul says:

    Minuses: Ikea aren’t nice people – they used slave labour from the old DDR to keep this prices low. The company’s founder was a member of the nazi party.

    Pluses: they have the best, cheapest LED lightbulbs, really good looking ones. They helped get our electricity consumption down from 14kWh per day to 10kWh.

    SO it’s a straightforward equation: nazis vs the planet.

  4. Phil says:

    Very interesting, I had no idea Sainsbury’s were moving. To be honest, I’d be more concerned about traffic issues at the new Sainsbury’s site rather than at IKEA. I have never had to queue at IKEA Edmonton, getting in or out. The vehicle density of a supermarket is, I imagine, far greater than that for an IKEA.

    Personally, I’d love a new IKEA nearer to us. You say that they’d be moving to the site where Sainsburys/Comet are now – between the two buildings, that’s a huge area so there might not be a need for two floors (although IKEAs always seem to function better over two floors).

    My hope would be that IKEA could be put under pressure by Greenwich Council to build something more elaborate than their standard IKEA blue/yellow box stores. Maybe something eco-friendly. Sadly, I imagine this is unlikely to happen. More due to the ethics of the council rather than IKEA’s unwillingness – IKEA have been pushing LEDs and eco stuff recently so could use an eco-friendly store as a marketing ploy if pushed.

  5. David says:

    An Ikea isn’t the ideal scenario, and it’s only going to make that roundabout (which, incidentally, needs a complete redesign) more busy and and dangerous.

    But… I’d rather an ikea than seeing the site turn to weeds and goodness knows what else, which is the way its going at the moment.

    Better the devil you know, and all that.

  6. Richard says:

    I would rather a Heal’s was moving in :-0

  7. Scott says:

    The site would be big enough. They would build out over the car park giving the building more space and retaining the parking number. The one in Edmonton is the same as this. Given the location you would see it from miles away if you lived up on the hill.

  8. Got to echo Old China: On the one hand, emergency furniture will be more easily obtained. On the other…. How is there more room for anymore traffic?!

  9. Gordon of Greenwich says:

    I love IKEA but is this really the best site? Traffic is already appalling around the Woolwich Road flyover roundabout. We all know that the area around the flyover is one of London’s pollution hotspots and this development will certainly not help matters.

  10. 58frankh says:

    Am I correct in remembering that there will be a new M&S next to the new Sainsbury’s? If so, a combination of M&S and IKEA could explain why the Council want that Silvertown tunnel for all the extra East London shoppers.

  11. james says:

    I did speak with the Sainsbury’s Manager a few months ago; the cost was too high to develop the comet store to expand the Sainsbury’s store. I told him that I wouldn’t be shopping at their new store in Charlton because you would have to be checking and contend with the traffic if Charlton is playing at home, RTTB and the London Marathon would mean road closures and traffic grid lock, there are fewer bus routes to the new Sainsbury’s site, which a lot of bus user use on their way to North Greenwich Station. A few years ago Asda were refuse planning permission to expand they should seek permission to put a misalign floor to increase floor space in there existing store. Sainsbury’s is the only decent size supermarket where you could a Christmas food shop in the SE10 postcode; Waitrose is to small a hidden out the way. To many little big chains in SE10 Trafalgar road Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco express, Iceland, Co-op local, nisa missing is Morrison’s. Ikea dose a change of use from food to non-food apply, if so I would like this site kept for a food retailer. The new Tesco extra in Woolwich has hammered Sainsbury’s in Woolwich which I can see close when the new Sainsbury’s in Charlton opens. Is there not somewhere else ikea could go in SE10. Will ikea have a restaurant? Think I will food shop out of Greenwich. This will be the nearest IKEA store to central London, it will serve, Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham, Southwark, City, Tower Hamlets, Newham etc.

  12. Barbara says:

    The exhibition at the Forum is now being advertised as 12-7 pm: http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/campaigns/greenwich_store.html

  13. james says:

    i can confirm that a post mail-out received from IKEA LTD addressed to the Occupier of my home in SE10 with the above details of their Public Exhibition.

  14. Kemsing says:

    Living next to the roundabout I agree that traffic will be a nightmare, the traffic layouts for the millennium were a mess. Especially for pedestrians until the council formalised removing the barrier we kept breaking down.

  15. Kemsing says:

    The traffic will be a nightmare, and if the millennium road schemes are anything to go by, the highway engineers will not manage cars nor pedestrian routes well.

  16. Angela says:

    Hi. I have heard that they’re moving the Sainsbury’s next to Macro so I don’t think you would have to trek a lot :) but again it is a rumour.

  17. Angela says:

    Also, though it isn’t as an important question as the ones above, can you ask them if they will continue to have a Starbucks in the new Sainsbury’s if they are building the new one next to Macro?

  18. Mary says:

    it’s not just the traffic by the roundabout/flyover, also to be considered is the current “car park” that is the junction between Woolwich-Trafalgar Road / Blackwall Lane which boasts the worst junction box ever to be designed!

  19. derek says:

    For those against the Ikea store it’s likely that the biggest concern is traffic, as it usually is with such developments. So if we assume that Ikea could ‘potentially’exacerbate the already dire levels of congestion and pollution in and around the peninsula, then let Greenwich Council use the carrot of a ‘real earner’ for the giant of a private limited company, to actually IMPROVE the traffic. How? By persuading Ikea that, as a responsible environmentally aware company, they should not entertain increasing levels of pollution causing poor health to local residents, but instead use their huge power and influence to introduce alternative methods of travelling to and from their store and delivery of heavy/bulky purchases. It could be done! Unthinkable actions such as REDUCING the car parking by 50% and replacing it with cycle parking, green landscaping and outdoor rain sheltered eating and drinking areas (think Westfield for example). Improving the cycle paths in and around. Ecofriendly ‘green’ buses from centres such as Woolwich and Greenwich and Lewisham directly to and from the store- places which have feeder bus routes by the dozen to link up. Make the remaining parking EXPENSIVE and the home delivery option (which could be from a warehouse away from high density living areas like the peninsula)CHEAP. This move towards viewing items at large stores for subsequent on-line purchase/delivery is already happening and predicted to be the future of retail. Ikea bikes (like adapted Boris bikes!)could have storage panniers and/or trailers for loan and return for those who wish to have immediate delivery, and are fit enough and brave enough to tackle the London roads ( I do every day to work in Greenwich and I’m no ‘spring chicken’.) These could even be ridden by Ikea’s trained cycling delivery boys and girls (local employment too) It’s a complete re-think of encouraging stores to think more than just the immediate profit line, but taking a responsible and caring attitude to those locally whom their stores can affect both negatively and positively. Is this all science fiction, ‘pie in the sky’? If this could be managed, it would be a first for both Greenwich and Ikea, and a blueprint for the future. Would i then use the store? Probably at some point yes, and i know my wife would definitely (much to our wallets dismay). I personally would prefer a kind of mixed use market, a kind of Borough market and Greenwich market in one, both outdoor and indoor. Is this likely though? Perhaps with enough local support yes, but somehow i doubt that would happen with the populations general apathy. It’s hardly the Tooting Popular Front in Greenwich, and so given the ‘Hobson’s Choice’ of Ikea, lets make them pay a bit more than they had planned with the promise it could reward them in the end. The future is in our hands.