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Monday, 5 March, 2001, 13:49 GMT
Gas tower 'no threat' to Ikea
Gasometer near site of planned IKEA store in Cardiff
The listed gasometer could have posed a threat
Swedish furniture giant Ikea has dismissed reports that a new store planned for Cardiff could be threatened by a gasometer which is protected from demolition.

The company announced on Friday that it planned to create its first store in Wales at a site in Grangetown in the capital, creating 500 jobs.

The gasholder may not be everyone's idea of a national treasure but any student of architecture would see its merits

Cadw spokeswoman
There were fear that the development could be jeopardised by the grade two listed 150ft high gas holder which stands on the former British Gas site chosen by IKEA for its third biggest UK store.

But a spokesman for the Swedish company said his initial investigations showed the gasometer stood outside the site at Ferry Road.

The Welsh historic monuments body Cadw described the gasometer as an "architectural masterpiece".

Experts claim the 120-year-old building bears the hallmark of the 15th century architect Filippo Brunelleschi, designer of the domes of Florence.

A typical IKEA store exterior
IKEA plans its third biggest store in Cardiff

A spokesman for Cadw said they had not been officially approached about the Ikea development.

"Certainly we would expect to be brought in by Cardiff's planners if it was to be affected in any way by this development."

"We would look closely at the plans to see if it can be incorporated in any way."

"The gasholder may not be everyone's idea of a national treasure but any student of architecture would see its merits," said the spokeswoman.

The gasometer was first made a listed building nine years ago when it was feared British Gas would demolish it.

The company had said the structure was "useless" and that it needed 400,000 worth of repairs.

Ikea's announcement It is part of a scheme to build 20 new stores in the UK, creating 10,000 jobs in 10 years.

Plans for the development will go before Cardiff Council in six weeks time.

A spokesman for the council has confirmed the listed gasometer stands outside the proposed site for the store.

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See also:

19 Jun 00 | Business
Ikea expands in UK
28 Jul 00 | Europe
Ikea's self-assembled billionaire
01 Nov 00 | UK
What is the 'Swedish way'?
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