Yerbury pupils stage High Court protest against Ocado's plans
- Credit: NOcado
Children helped stage a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice this week, urging food delivery giant Ocado not to open a delivery centre next to their primary school.
Ocado is taking Islington Council to the High Court in an attempt to overturn a block on its application to open a round-the-clock delivery hub on the Bush Industrial Estate in Tufnell Park.
Dozens of children from Yerbury in Foxham Road, Archway held banners saying, 'Our air is not for sale' and 'NOcado', ahead of the hearing.
The site's owner Telereal Trillium was granted a lawful development certificate by the council in 2017 allowing storage and distribution, and the food delivery giant applied to open its hub two years later.
But the certificate was revoked in October after campaign group NOcado submitted evidence which they claim demonstrates the site had not been used for storage and distribution since 1992.
Campaigners are concerned the site - which could serve up to 100 delivery vans a day at peak times - will be noisy and will increase pollution near the school playground and in residential streets.
NOcado, made up of nearby residents and families of Yerbury pupils, was named on the High Court challenge as an interested party.
A judgement is expected in about four to six weeks, following the two-day hearing.
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A spokesperson for NOcado said: "This high-profile case has the potential to set a new precedent for the planning of distribution centres in residential areas as grocers aim to get closer to their customers and online delivery growth surges.
"Ocado has stated its intention to open 12 local distribution centres alone in London this year. If the Court upholds the council’s decision, it will be a crucial blow to Ocado’s broader strategy to develop ‘Zoom’, its one-hour delivery service."
A spokesperson for Ocado pointed out that the site has been designated as a locally significant industrial site by the council, and has a dozen or so other industrial occupiers.
They added: “Ocado is committed to making our site on the Bush Industrial Estate the greenest and quietest grocery facility in the UK, with a 100 per cent electric van fleet."