Why the fu­ture of Green­wich ar­rives in flat pack

The bor­ough is get­ting an Ikea, but is its ar­rival cause for joy?

The Wharf - - News - Pippa Allen-Kin­ross

Green­wich is per­fect isn’t it? All that his­tory, cul­ture and beauty.

No.

What do you mean no?

There’s a com­plete lack of places to buy cheap, Swedish, chip­board fur­ni­ture.

You don’t mean...

Yes, it’s com­ing. A 33,000sq m branch of Ikea at a cost of £100mil­lion.

That’s a whole lot of meat­balls

It’s a whole lot of ev­ery­thing. The new store will also in­clude a rooftop pav­il­ion with a com­mu­nity area, a bio­di­ver­sity gar­den, a mar­ket hall, a show­room, a restau­rant and a creche.

Ooh, a bio­di­ver­sity gar­den. Fancy

Not only that. Ikea prom­ises 500 jobs in­clud­ing full and part-time po­si­tions in sales, cus­tomer re­la­tions, in­te­rior de­sign and ca­ter­ing and to re­cruit as many lo­cal peo­ple as pos­si­ble. So that’s al­right then. Do say...

Re­ally? Won’t they just be on the mim­i­mum wage?

Ap­par­ently not. All staff will be paid in line with the Real Liv­ing Wage Foun­da­tion’s rec­om­men­da­tions, which would cur­rently see them get £9.75 an hour in­side London. More in the fu­ture.

That sounds pretty pos­i­tive.

And that’s be­fore you even start me on sus­tain­abil­ity.

Isn’t buy­ing cheap, re­place­able fur­ni­ture con­tribut­ing to our throw­away cul­ture? Hardly sus­tain­able.

I’m talk­ing about the store it­self – it’ll be Ikea’s most en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly to date, with fea­tures in­clud­ing rain­wa­ter col­lec­tion and so­lar pan­els, and is ex­pected to meet a Breeam Ex­cel­lent Cer­it­fi­ca­tion Rat­ing when it opens in late 2018, so there.

I’m sure ev­ery­one breath­ing the ex­tra car fumes from all the traf­fic will be de­lighted to know...

OK, Mil­len­nium Way Re­tail Park in Bugsby’s Way will be hit but there will be six bus routes stop­ping there, 75 bike spa­ces and 20 elec­tric car charg­ing points. I just can’t wait for the store to open so I can fill my beau­ti­ful Vic­to­rian prop­erty with birch-ef­fect Flarke book­cases, Jerker com­puter desks and Blad­vass quilt cov­ers.

Don’t say...

Are you se­ri­ously sug­gest­ing I take my newly ac­quired Dom­bas wardrobe home on my bike?

The new store will fea­ture a rooftop pav­il­ion and gar­den

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