Archway NOcado protesters now target Marks and Spencer
- Credit: NOcado
Marks and Spencer is now being targeted as campaigners fight food delivery giant Ocado's plans to open a delivery centre next to their primary school.
Dozens of children from Yerbury Primary School in Foxham Road, Archway, helped stage a protest outside M&S's HQ in Paddington on Tuesday (July 6) as their AGM was held inside, urging them to to "drop the depot".
Ocado - which switched from selling Waitrose to M&S food in September - is appealing a High Court decision which upheld Islington Council's block on its bid to open a round-the-clock delivery hub on the Bush Industrial Estate in Tufnell Park.
Ocado says it wants to build "the greenest and quietest grocery facility in the UK" with a 100 per cent electric van fleet.
But opponents from NOcado are concerned the site - which could serve up to 100 delivery vans a day at peak times - would be noisy and increase pollution near Yerbury School's playground and residential streets.
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Campaigners now claim that M&S - which owns 50 per cent of Ocado - is violating its public commitments by "trying to force through a polluting development with disingenuous claims to be sustainable".
Chairman Archie Norman has stated the shop is "committed to helping to build a sustainable future by being a business that enables our customers to have a positive impact on wellbeing, communities and the planet, through all that we do".
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At the AGM Mr Norman was asked by journalist Kamal Ahmed: "Can you just respond to those shareholders who have asked that M&S takes a robust position saying Ocado shouldn't have this delivery centre near a primary school in north London?"
He replied: "We do expect Ocado to adopt a very strong position on sustainability and its relationship with the local communities, and just like the shops we have to reflect on the point that a delivery depot does create a lot of traffic.
"It does create a lot of employment and investment too hopefully, but it has to fit in with the local community.
"The particular issues around that tend to be around movement of traffic and trucks coming in now."
Following the meeting a M&S spokesperson told the Gazette: “At a time when delivering groceries to the home has never mattered more, Ocado and M&S want to be able to serve customers and be a trusted neighbour to those that live there."