Ocado has lost the right to build a new delivery hub in north London after campaigners successfully lobbied the council to halt plans.
Islington Council has withdrawn the site’s certificate of lawfulness to open the distribution centre next to Yerbury school, accusing Ocado’s landlords, Telereal, of providing “false and misleading evidence” and “withholding material information” to secure the licence.
It marks a significant victory for local campaign group “NOcado”, who challenged the planning application in April claiming there were “serious failings and irregularities” in the landlord’s application.
It is a blow to Ocado who has already committed to building 20 depots in the UK and has plans to build a further eight as part of its joint venture with M&A.
A number of retailers have trialled express deliveries but they still rely heavily on out-of-town warehouses to fulfil the orders.
Ocado said it was “disappointed” by the council’s decision and was considering “all options iwth the landlords”.
The Islington site had been designed to help deliver more groceries in London, and plans included a diesel tank and three pumps to refill Ocado vans. In January the firm said it could replace the vans with electric cars in a bid to appease protestors.
A spokesperson for Ocado said: “Our plans ensure it will be one of the greenest and quietest grocery facilities in the UK but we will continue to listen and respond to any concerns.”
Labour councillors said they were “delighted” with the “decision to revoke the certification of lawfulness” in a statement on Twitter.
“Our schools should be free from toxic air pollution and this is an important step in the campaign to stop polluting vehicles outside Islington’s schools.”
Natasha Cox, a NOcado campaigner and Yerbury school parent said: “With the surge in online shopping and deliveries, there needs to be much more scrutiny around where these distribution centres are built.”
“The current planning categorisation of ‘storage and distribution’ is not fit for purpose given new expectations for delivery services and the intensification of these 24/7 sites. Today marks a milestone in not putting the building of distribution centres ahead of community health.”
Telereal did not respond to a request for comment.