Ocado puts in new lawfulness application for site near primary school

An Ocado electric van 

An Ocado electric van - Credit: Ocado

Food delivery firm Ocado has put in a new bid to use an Tufnell Park site for “storage and distribution” – despite previously having had its certificate revoked and a further application refused.  

The online supermarket has applied for a certificate of lawfulness of existing use for the Bush Industrial Estate, Unit A to D Station Road.  

Ocado had been granted to use the site in April 2019 before the certificate was revoked in October 2020, following campaigning by residents and families from neighbouring Yerbury Primary school

The online supermarket lost a High Court bid last summer to overturn the revocation of its certificate before making another application last September which was rejected by the council in February.  

In the most recent application, Ocado argues the previous rejection was due to a technicality concerning Unit E, which has now been excluded from the documents.  

A spokesperson said: “Ocado is committed to having a positive impact on the local community. This would be the greenest and quietest grocery facility in the UK, and we would commit to using a 100% electric delivery van fleet – replacing the vans that currently deliver in the area – and install a green ‘living wall’ along the boundary. It would also create around 300 new jobs for the local economy.”

The submission comes after councillors Janey Burgess MBE, Tricia Clarke, Sheila Chapman, Satnam Gill, Gulcin Ozdemir, and council leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz signed a letter last month calling for Ocado to submit a full planning application to ensure a “transparent and fair process”. 

The letter stated: "A transparent and fair process would be for Ocado to submit a full planning application for the site, setting out its plans in detail and being subject to a full, independent impact assessment. 

"This would allow local people to have their say on the proposals and ensure the scrutiny that important plans such as these require. We implore Ocado to submit a full planning application, rather than exploring further loopholes."   

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Comments can be submitted until August 20 and Islington Council needs to make a decision by September 8.

The council would not comment on a live planning application.