Furniture giant IKEA is seeking permission to install new infrastructure to deter ‘anti-social behaviour’ at its Ashton-under-Lyne store which has led to companies refusing to deliver stock.
The Swedish global company has applied to Tameside Council to erect an electrically-operated swing gate at the entrance to the service yard, and a new fence along the vehicle ramp at the Wellington Road site.
Planning documents submitted with the application say that the works are designed to improve security and address incidents of anti-social behaviour at the store, including preventing ‘trespassers in vehicles onto the site’.
“In the last 12 months, there have been a number of trespassing incidents in the goods yard and also at the level 3 and 4 car park where vandals have thrown large items off the side of the building into the service yard,” they state.
“Trespassers are also trespassing into the service yard to access an open top skip to illegally retrieve items.”
Impact on deliveries
The report by Quod Ltd on behalf of IKEA states that the consequences of the anti-social behaviour and trespassing have been ‘serious in affecting the site’s operations’.
“For example, the transport company which bring container and trailer deliveries to site have deemed the service yard unsafe and are consequently not prepared to make deliveries to the store, meaning that stock cannot be replenished,” they add.
“The applicant is having to employ routine patrols overnight from store closure until store opening to cover the service yard and car parks to act as a deterrent, although this is not a long-term solution.
“There is a significant health and safety risk currently since the actions of this unauthorised trespass, given unauthorised access to the service yard puts them in personal danger.”
The planning documents state that IKEA has been advised by local police that they are ‘unable to support the applicant where there are intruders’ and had recommended improving site security.
They hope the ‘modest external works’ will help the business operate more safely and will be beneficial for the surrounding area by tackling anti-social behaviour.
Planning officers are yet to make a decision on the application, with an indicative termination deadline being scheduled for March.
Ikea has declined to comment further.