Deliveroo to keep 'dark kitchens' open as appeal launched

Deliveroo Editions Kitchen in Swiss Cottage. Picture: Polly Hancock

Deliveroo Editions Kitchen in Swiss Cottage. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Deliveroo has said its "dark kitchens" will stay open, pending an appeal after councillors refused its Swiss Cottage application.

The Deliveroo Editions operation, in Finchley Road, submitted an application for permission for permanent commercial kitchens and a delivery centre, but councillors voted on Thursday (April 7) to reject it.

Six councillors opposed the proposal on grounds that it was unsafe for riders and too intensive for the residents who live surrounding the site.

A Deliveroo spokesperson told the Ham&High the operation will "remain open pending the appeal". 

They said the company is "proud of the contribution" Deliveroo makes to the area, including supporting 114 jobs and more than £14m of revenue for businesses engaged with the site.

"Council planning officers recommended that the committee should approve our application for permanent permission, recognising that it's a well-run and managed site, and fully adheres to planning policy," they said. 

"We intend to appeal the committee's decision and look forward to continuing to bring greater choice to local residents and economic benefits to local businesses."

Local resident Edie Raff told the meeting on April 7 there was "no let up of comings and goings" and that it was "destroying amenities".

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Responding to the appeal and the facility's remaining open, she said: "We've won - but apparently we've lost. It is devastating and Kafka-esque that all our work over the past four years counts for nothing, and residents are firmly back in square one."

Peter Symonds, former chair of the Combined Residents Association of South Hampstead (CRASH), said: "We expected them to appeal. They were forced to appeal the first time and now they are doing it again.

"It's dreadful that they've had four years to prove that they can behave themselves and they haven't proved that. 

"If Camden allows them to go on operating after the councillors have actually refused permission, then it's iniquitous, it shouldn't be allowed."

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “Last week, Camden’s planning committee refused an application by Deliveroo for planning permission to operate permanently on Finchley Road.

"The council are currently drafting the reasons for refusal and will then issue the decision notice. The council is also considering what enforcement action to take.

"Deliveroo have the opportunity to appeal the decision and we will continue to monitor the operation.”