IKEA struggles to build new store

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Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA isn’t giving up plans to build a new store at Vestby, south of Oslo, even though county officials have rejected the project. IKEA plans to move forward with an appeal to a county commission in Akershus.

Both the local government in Vestby and the landowner support IKEA’s project, which will create new jobs and boost local economic development.  But the land itself is still zoned as farmland, and state agricultural officials are firmly opposed to seeing more farmland converted to commercial purposes.

“I am strongly against this agricultural land disappearing,” state Agriculture Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum told news bureau NTB. He wants grain production in Norway to increase, even though the farmer now owning the land wants to sell.

With customers continuing to pack its two Oslo-area stores west of the capital at Slependen and at Furuset on the city’s northeast side, IKEA remains keen to open a store serving southeastern Norway. IKEA also has stores in Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Kristiansand.

newsinenglish.no staff