But, as with most large-scale developments, their main stumbling block at the time was finding a suitable site. But one suggestion was for it to "go on Matford Park or a new retail park at Digby. August - A Lack Of Ambition?
Dramatic scenes unfolded inside the Civic Centre when a motion was put forward by council members accusing the controlling authority of having "a lack of ambition" after the negativity over IKEA's bid to move to the city. The motion called for the authority to urgently renew talks. It was the same month neighbouring Mid Devon District Council told them that if they didn't want it - they would have it at the junction of the M5 at Willand.
Hopes were then put on hold until "at least " because of the lack of a suitable site.
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They revealed that they had been in lengthy talks with the city council about a location, and had settled on the area near Sandy Park. October - First Glimpse Outline store plans were registered with planners, including plans for between and homes off Newcourt Way.
IKEA said they had engaged with more than 2, members of the community and listened to their feedback. It was at this point it was confirmed that Exeter would get a "standard" warehouse IKEA store with a restaurant, and not a downsized version.
Councillor's were recommended to approve the plans. April - In Limbo The long wait for final plans continued into , with an opening date pushed to IKEA said they continued to work on the detailed planning application which would include scale and massing, a new road and the materials they would use.
It would remain in a design stage limbo until September The news prompted speculation that our store would fit this less impressive model instead - but IKEA confirmed that Exeter was getting the real deal - a full sized warehouse branch. September - Relief The wait for the final plans was over in September. The announcement came as a great relief to many, following the many years of rumours, speculation and worrying reports about the uncertain future of the scheme.
Doubts had set in as they only had until January to follow up that approval with a detailed application The expiration would have completely erased the groundwork in place so far, and sent the company back to the drawing board. December - Behind Closed Doors With surprisingly little fanfare, the final plans were given the thumbs' up on Friday, December Full approval for its reserved matters application was quietly granted by the city council on Friday.
The massive decision was made by planning officers with delegated powers. Councillors who sit on Exeter City Council's planning committee felt there was no aspect of the plans "which concerned them" — and so the major development was not decided in committee. April - Ground Works The diggers took up residence as works began in earnest at the beginning of the year at the site.
May - Who's The Boss Tantilising details began to trickle from the Swedish giant in the beginning of May, including when the store is expected to open. IKEA revealed the store will employ people, recruited locally who will all be paid at least the real living wage.
We were told who the boss of the branch would be: Nicholas Earle, who as strong family links to North Devon. May - Breaking New Ground Later that month a huge milestone was reached for the project - with the official ground breaking ceremony.
And Devon Live was given a wealth of new information about the store. IKEA will also create new cycle lanes around the store and will also provide six electric bike charging points. IKEA say they are working with local transport providers to improve existing transport links around the store. It comes as IKEA announce their role in a new jobs fair next month.
It will be held from 9. November - Big Blue Box Aerial photos reveal that almost all of the blue cladding around the building is complete. IKEA is still recruiting for roles at the new store with it set to open in early summer January - Army in Yellow An army of Ikea employees took to city centre streets in a recruitment drive for the upcoming branch.
At the beginning of January they had jobs left to give including full-time contracts, part-time contracts and everything in between. Like us on Facebook.
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