City council leaders have confirmed negotiations with Ikea are now at advanced stage but that the “complicated” nature of the proposal means an application may not be received for “a couple of months”.
A site near Sandy park is understood to have been identified and, if permission is granted, it is expected to create hundreds of jobs.
Ikea has been looking to create a store in Exeter for many years but, as the Echo revealed last year, it stepped up its efforts in 2012 and it has been in talks with Exeter City Council to secure the move.
Karime Hassan, Exeter City Council’s Strategic Director, said: “Finding a suitable site has been challenging and the council has to assess the impact of any store on the council’s planning policies which seek to protect the city centre.
“The council is now in pre-planning talks with the company but the details are confidential. Any planning application will be subject to wide public consultation. There is a lot of work to be done in preparing a planning application to address the technical requirements.”
Ikea has confirmed it is working with Exeter City Council but could not comment further at this time.
Ikea was launched 70 years ago in a small farming village in Sweden. It has grown to become one of the biggest home furnishing retailers in the world with more than 150 stores in 29 countries. The company opened its first UK store in 1987.