‘Dark kitchen is keeping us awake’

Neighbours suffer disturbance from Barnsbury site where takeaway meals are prepared for moped deliveries

Friday, 2nd July 2021 — By Helen Chapman

Deliveroo site in Roman Way

The site in Roman Way

RESIDENTS have complained of being kept awake at night amid a planning row over a “dark kitchen” site where takeaway meals are prepared for moped deliveries.

Food giants Deliveroo are appealing against an enforcement notice issued by Islington Council to stop the operation at a unit in Roman Way, Barnsbury.

The company has so far not secured retrospective planning permission for use of the site. It has been up and running since 2017.

Ward councillor Paul Convery said: “Deliveroo is not a small cosy delivery business, it is a vast tech business which is slowly swallowing up the catering industry rather than helping serve it.”

Residents in nearby Offord Road say their lives are disrupted by noisy mopeds and loud and smelly extractor fans. The kitchens allow takeaways to take orders without having the expense of a high street shop or restaurant.

Objector Raffaella Binetti said: “Offord Road is a narrow residential street with a massive traffic problem that has been made much worse because of the constant to-ing and fro-ing of Deliveroo vehicles. It’s time for the council to take some very decisive action to shut it down.”

Council planners had previously recommended that planning permission is granted as long as Deliveroo ensures only electric scooters or pushbikes for deliveries but the company said in March they could not commit to non-petrol powered vehicles due to the “viability of their operations”.

But resident Emma Draper said: “Having recently moved to Offord Road, we thought this was a very residential quiet road, however, the constant loud buzz of deliveroo motor bikes passing our window keeps us awake most nights.

“We are so fed up with the sheer number of vehicles using the road. Some of the food delivery drivers also cross the zebra crossings at a great speed without waiting for pedestrians to cross to meet their slots. It feels really dangerous and sadly not somewhere I wish to bring my children up due to the pollution and traffic noise.”

A verdict on the enforcement notice will now be decided by a planning inspector, who is collecting comments until July 7.

Dr Jan Kattein, another Offord Road resident, said: “Deliveroo was told by the council to shut this kitchen down in 2018, but here they are still plaguing our residential street with noise, traffic and pollution.

“Why publish a set of company values and then blatantly flout the rules that were put in place to safeguard the well-being of local communities?

“Offord Road residents are coming together to get in a record number of submissions to the Planning Inspectorate.

“And in the meantime, for my part I’d rather support my local restaurants.”

Deliveroo did not respond to requests for comment this week but a spokeswoman previously said in response to concerns: “We know that people in Islington value the great food our restaurant partners at the site create and are confident in the benefits the site brings in terms of jobs and opportunities at a time when hospitality businesses across the country are struggling.

“Deliveroo is committed to being good neighbours to residents and we have engaged closely with the council throughout the planning process.”

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