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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Ikea enlarge planned Belfast shop
Ikea store
Ikea wants to build a larger store in Belfast
Swedish retailer Ikea has applied for an extra 3,200 sq metres at its planned major outlet near Belfast.

The firm said its amended planning application, for an outlet of 29,000 sq metres, is a vote of confidence in the Northern Ireland market.

In January, the flat-pack giant said it wanted to open at Holywood Exchange, near the George Best City Airport.

Ikea said the store would create 400 jobs, with another 100 in outsourced services like home deliveries.

The company said there had been a "slight delay" in the finalisation of the planning application due to the increased size of the proposed store and some unexpected delays in the preliminary site investigation process.

Theresa Daly, IKEA's project manager for its planed Belfast and Dublin stores, said the company had put tremendous effort into the process.

"We believe that our application meets all of the tests of national policy as well as national and local planning guidelines," she said.

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