'Belated greenwash'?: Campaigners slam Ocado's delivery hub consultation

An Ocado electric van 

An Ocado electric van - Credit: Ocado

Ocado's consultation on its plans to set up a round-the-clock delivery hub in Tufnell Park has been branded a "belated greenwash" by campaigners.

They claim the consultation should have been launched two years ago when the food delivery giant applied for planning permission. 

Ocado says the site in Station Road on the Bush Industrial Estate, where it plans to use a fleet of electric vans, would be "one of the greenest and quietest grocery facilities in the UK", and is inviting feedback and the chance to ask questions.

But members of campaign group NOcado - made up of nearby residents and families of pupils at Yerbury Primary School next door - are concerned the hub will be noisy and increase pollution.

Ocado is taking Islington Council and "concerned residents" to the High Court next month to overturn the block on its bid to open it.

A lawful development certificate, allowing storage and distribution, was granted to the site's owner Telereal Trillium by the council in 2017, but was revoked in October.

Ocado says the consultation seeks to "re-confirm the permitted use" for the industrial estate in Station Road, as part of its planning application.

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But Bill Eyres, a NOcado campaigner, doesn't think the consultation is legitimate.

"Ocado does not have the authority to run an objective process which should have been instigated at the beginning in conjunction with the council and not two years later to cover up their consistent failure to listen to the community’s concerns," he said. 

"This the real face of Ocado - a belated greenwash consultation whilst wielding a legal sledgehammer against the opposition of the community and its children.”

A spokesperson for Ocado said: “We delivered to one in six households in Islington in 2020 and if the site was open then, there would have been a 45 per cent reduction in the number of miles travelled by our fleet to deliver to customers in the area.

"The site will also contribute to the local economy by creating 250 new jobs. Our aim is to be the best possible neighbour to the local community whilst bringing a faster and more sustainable service to our customers in Islington."