Search

Deliveroo’s ‘dark kitchen’ in Swiss Cottage given temporary permission to continue for next 9 months

PUBLISHED: 12:10 16 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 16 October 2020

Cyclists and e-scooter leave the Deliveroo site in Swiss Cottage. Picture: Polly Hancock

Cyclists and e-scooter leave the Deliveroo site in Swiss Cottage. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Deliveroo’s so-called “dark kitchen” in Swiss Cottage has been given a nine-month stay of execution by Camden Council’s planning committee.

Cyclists look to enter the Finchley Road in Swiss Cottage from the Deliveroo Kitchen. Picture: Polly HancockCyclists look to enter the Finchley Road in Swiss Cottage from the Deliveroo Kitchen. Picture: Polly Hancock

Councillors heard the complaints of residents complaining about riders breaching conditions of the current planning permission, with campaigners against the site having cited 400 instances where they’ve documented riders breaching the Operational Management Plan set out.

The Deliveroo Editions operation has been operating on the site until 2017 – it was doing so without permission until Camden Council enforcement action saw its case considered by a planning inspector in 2019.

In September 2019 the inspector, Diane Lewis, award the delivery company a 14 month temporary planning permission. The Camden committee considered whether to make that permanent on Thursday night.

READ MORE: Inspector says Deliveroo can continue running ‘dark kitchens’ in Swiss Cottage

But despite protestations from Deliveroo’s UK head of public affairs Giles Derrington, who argued huge improvements had been made, the committee decided to choose between rejecting the application outright and awarding a further nine-month period of temporary permission in order to consider whether it was possible to operate

Mr Derrington said many of the documented breaches were not its riders, and added: “This site has transformed from the one that existed a few years ago.”

You may also want to watch:

He added: “We believe that over the past 14 months we have shown the trial period has been an overwhelming success.”

He said the vast majority of complaints had come from three individuals, and said 700 meals had been delivered within 100m of the site. The application was opposed by residents represented by Edie Raff and Cllr Leo Cassarani (Lab, Swiss Cottage). Ms Raff told the committee that if it approved the application, “the clear message will go out to communities everywhere that if they fall victim to Deliveroo, there will be no way to stop them.”

She added: “Their nine dark kitchens and riders have had an excessive impact on local residents.”

Cllr Cassarani added: “Everyone who lives near or around the site has direct first-hand experience of what it’s like to be Deliveroo’s next-door neighbour. This site is a very bad fit.”

The ward councillor also disputed the need for a further “trial period”. He said: “We’ve had three years. I feel like this test has had a pretty good chance of either succeeding or failing. The problem has always been that however much better you try to make it, you run up against the limitations of the site.”

The vote to award temporary permission passed with eight votes in favour and five against.

The five to vote against included Cllrs Robertson, Parkinson, Cooper, Mulholland and Wright who raised concerns about extending the “suffering” of residents like Ms Raff.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express