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IKEA counts down to Calcot with planning application
[National]  Home furning company IKEA is set to imminently lodge a planning application for a new store in Calcot, near Reading.
The application, to West Berkshire District Council seeks permission to redevelop a number of derelict and rundown retail and leisure units at Pincents Lane Retail Park, Calcot for the location of the new store.

The move follows an extensive consultation process with residents from the surrounding areas. Approximately 500 people attended the public exhibitions and to date, more than 700 responses have been received from interested parties. The responses have been taken into consideration to help ensure that the final design meets the needs of both IKEA and the surrounding community. IKEA has contacted everyone who responded to the consultation to let them know what the next steps will be, and also updated this information to the dedicated website at www.ikea-calcot-consultation.co.uk

It is proposed that the IKEA Reading store in Calcot is built on a four hectare site of commercial land comprising a number of retail and leisure units some of which are vacant and in a poor state of repair. The proposed IKEA plans will redevelop these run down properties to provide a modern retail unit with associated restaurant and parking facilities to help meet the shopping needs of the local and wider area.

The development will consist of a retail warehouse and an adjacent multi deck parking area. There will be a total of 1,287 parking spaces as well as additional bus and coach parking areas.

The store will provide a typical IKEA offering, including a Market Hall, Showroom and Warehouse, as well as restaurants, crèche, staff facilities and customer services areas.

The site is located near to junction 12 of the M4 and will be accessed via an improved A4 Bath Road, Pincents Lane, Dorking Way junction.

Since the public exhibitions in September, IKEA has actively worked with West Berkshire Council and the Highways Agency to discuss and agree potential improvements to the highway in the vicinity of the store. The planning application provides further detail of the proposed solution in this respect and is accompanied by a detailed Transport Assessment Report (TAR), and a detailed network traffic model of the local road network.

The development will bring over 400 job opportunities, representing a significant increase in employment on the Pincents Lane Retail Park. Available roles will range from sales, interior design, logistics, restaurant, customer services and warehousing to outsourced services. IKEA also provides opportunity for training for managerial positions and for working internationally.

IKEA is focused on becoming 100% renewable. Technology such as solar heating, photovoltaic panels, ground source heating, biomass generation and rain water harvesting have been incorporated in a number of UK stores and will be considered as part of the renewable investment in the proposed IKEA Reading store in Calcot. As a UK & Ireland company, installing energy efficient measures has helped reduce energy consumption by 19%1. Since 2005 the company has opened 6 new stores with only a 10% increase in combined energy. On average, stores across the UK and Ireland recycle over 85% of waste with some stores achieving around 95%, benefiting the environment and reducing the operational impact of the store.

Each IKEA store also works extensively with green travel to maximise public transport use by customers and co-workers. Over half of the stock deliveries come direct from supplier resulting in the need to store greater volume in the store but significantly reducing the number and frequency of truck movements.

Jack Jackson, IKEA’s Project Manager for the proposed IKEA Reading store, said today that the company was delighted to reach the stage of submitting a planning application this week and had put tremendous effort into the compilation of appropriate plans and studies to support its application. “We believe that our application meets all national and local planning guidelines. We have also shown how IKEA would contribute to the local economy and jobs market in West Berkshire and Reading and we look forward to working with the people of that area in developing and operating our store” he said.

-Ends-

For further information or interview requests please contact:

Claire Howes, PR Manager, IKEA UK & Ireland Press Office, tel: 020 8233 2378

Notes to editor1.Based on 13 comparable stores from 2005 figures.2.IKEA was established in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad at the age of 17, in Småland in Sweden.
3.IKEA is the world’s leading home furnishing retailer with a grand total of 301 IKEA stores in 37 countries/territories. The IKEA Group itself owns 267 stores in 25 countries, which are visited by 458 million people every year. IKEA UK has 18 stores and IKEA Ireland has 1 store. The first IKEA store in the UK was opened in Warrington in 1987.
4.The IKEA Group has 123,000 co-workers in 40 different countries over four continents. 96,300 in Europe, 16,450 in North America and 5,250 in Asia and Australia. There are 9,000
employees currently working at IKEA UK and Ireland organisation.
5.IKEA has a range of 9,500 different home furnishing products.
6.Sales for the IKEA Group for the financial year 2009 increased by 1.4 per cent to a total of 21.5 billion euros. Despite the tough economic climate, IKEA UK & Ireland has reported that total sales for the year to 31 August 2009 rose by 1.1% to £1.2 billion.
7.Last year, IKEA stores welcomed a total of 590 million visitors across the world and IKEA had 42.3 million visitors in the UK stores
8.Last year, the annual IKEA catalogue was printed in 195 million copies, 56 editions and in 27 languages. In total, the catalogue was read by 400 million people in 41 countries. Ingvar Kamprad penned all the text himself until 1963.

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