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?