Ikea's Stockport plan is rejected

Ikea has had its plans for a£30 million store in Greater Manchester turned down by the Deputy Prime Minister for a second time.

John Prescott has thrown out the Swedish furniture giant's bid for a store at Stockport, saying it is too big and doesn't have enough parking spaces. He also claimed Ikea should have looked to create a store closer to a regional centre and had not demonstrated that there were other more suitable sites available. A lack of public transport and the impact on smaller retailers were also cited in the reasons for refusal.

However, significantly, the latest rejection does not suggest that Ikea could 'disaggregate' its offer - sell its range of goods from several smaller town centre stores.

Prescott rejected the Stockport store for the first time in 2002, even though a public inquiry ruled it should be allowed. Ikea threatened to take the matter to the High Court, but the Deputy PM backed down and ordered a second public inquiry. It ruled earlier this year that the 325,000 sq ft (30,190 sq m) store should not be built.

The local council, MP and chamber of trade had all backed the plan. Ikea said it was reviewing the decision and is considering whether to take the matter back to the High Court again.