Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.
I’m on the front page of the Mercury this week giving my reaction to last week’s decision from English Heritage not to approve the Sainsbury’s eco-store on Bugsby Way as a listed building, despite a very strong campaign from residents and the Twentieth Century Society. Outline planning permission was granted for the site to be demolished in favour of Ikea earlier this year, over the strong objections of Conservative councillors.
As I told the Mercury, I think it is extremely disappointing that English Heritage hasn’t recognised the unique qualities of the building and why it should be protected, and that this hope for a reprieve has not materialised. The real blame here, however, lies with those Labour councillors who have forced Ikea’s big blue box on us in the first place – this is the wrong location, and as well as seeing Greenwich lose this iconic building the store will bring yet more congestion to roads that are already heavily congested.
I was speaking to residents in Westcombe Park about this issue just last week, and there is a real anger at how these plans have been rushed through. With outline planning permission now in place, we are where we are – and we have to now ensure that Ikea is forced to stump up as much Section 106 funding for the community as possible, invested in ways that will minimise the damage the new store will bring.