Ocado launches legal challenge in depot row

Food delivery giant takes on council over plans for hub near primary school

Friday, 26th February 2021 — By Helen Chapman

Parents and campaigners from Nocado

Parents and campaigners from the NOcado campaign group

FOOD delivery giant Ocado is taking the council to the High Court over the block on its bid to open a new hub in Tufnell Park.

Islington had revoked a licence allowing permission to use a site at the Bush Industrial Estate, near Yerbury Primary School, as a depot last year.

Campaign group NOcado – made up of residents living nearby and families at Yerbury – who fiercely opposed the proposal, are looking to raise £10,000 to take part in the hearing.

They fear delivery vans will create noise and pollution for neighbours and schoolchildren.

Junction ward councillor Sheila Chapman said: “It’s almost as if it hasn’t dawned on them [Ocado] that there is a ­primary school here, there’s a nature reserve here and there’s sheltered housing.

Yerbury headteacher Cassie Moss

“It’s remarkable, the lack of awareness that they’ve shown throughout, and continue to show. It’s really disappointing.”

She added: “We will keep campaigning, obviously, we’ll keep going. I would like them to do the right thing and negotiate a termination of that lease and recognise that this is the wrong place.”

Yerbury headteacher Cassie Moss said: “This case should not have to go to the High Court. Putting a 24/7 grocery depot three metres away from a primary school and nursery puts children’s health at risk.”

She said the school are waiting for impact assessments that they requested over a year ago.

Andrew Grieve, an air pollution scientist at Imperial College London and NOcado campaigner, said: “Ocado has shown disdain for the local community throughout this process. We’ve known for years now that air and noise pollution can harm children’s physical and mental development.”

A spokesperson for Ocado said: “Our commitment to a fleet of 100 per cent electric Ocado vans will help ensure the site is one of the greenest and quietest grocery facilities in the UK. At a time when delivering groceries to households has never mattered more, we are committed to being the best possible occupant of the Bush Industrial Estate, which is designated as a ‘Locally Significant Industrial Site’.”

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