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Deliveroo hires security guard at new kitchens operation after complaints from neighbours

Camden Council says it is checking planning rules on Swiss Cottage site, but takeaway firm say it has done nothing wrong

10 November, 2017 — By Tom Foot

The new guard behind Swiss Cottage underground station

A SECURITY guard has been stationed in Finchley Road for 15 hours every day to marshal Deliveroo riders following complaints from residents. Deliveroo said the guard would be “present at all operational times” – between 8am-11pm – at a ramp entrance to its new kitchens business in a yard behind Swiss Cottage tube station.

The new operation sees food firms who want to run a delivery-only service rent out the kitchens. Deliveroo bikes then ferry orders to users of the popular takeaway ordering app. It has, however, led to concerns that residents will be disturbed by constant comings and goings. Camden Council yesterday told the New Journal it had “concerns” about the Deliveroo scheme and said it was investigating whether it should have been allowed to start trading there without planning permission.

Elaine Bodenitz, who lives in nearby Dobson Close, said: “I went ballistic. When I heard they were open I hopped round there to see what was happening, even with my crook ankle I went running around. I got woken up at 8.30am with these people delivering in the morning. How sneaky, how very, very sneaky.”

Deliveroo says there was “no need for the company to seek planning consent in order to trade” as a disused building in the car park it kitted out with extractor fans and equipment already had the appropriate planning permission.

It said it had listened to residents’ concerns and that they only have food deliveries to the site between 8am-8pm – but takeaway drivers could pick up until 11pm. The security guard would “be present at all operational times… to tell them to turn off their engines and prevent them from going in to the residential areas,” a spokesman added.

Ahi Poké, Hawaiian sushi salads specialists, Lievita, Italian pizza makers, and Walima, selling Lebanese food, have set up shop in the Swiss Cottage kitchens. Meanwhile, Deliveroo – through its parent firm Roofoods Ltd – has withdrawn its application to run an alcohol delivery service from the kitchens.

Police had criticised the plan in objections to the application and argued that alcohol should only be sold alongside takeaway meals. Deliveroo said it had withdrawn the application because of concerns over “overall traffic volumes”.

In a statement, a council spokesman said of the Swiss Cottage operation: “The council has concerns regarding the equipment, its impact on the visual appearance of the building, the area and also on residential amenity. “It also considers that the proposed use may require planning permission. Its enforcement team are currently investigating this.”

A spokesman for Deliveroo said: “Deliveroo is committed to being a good neighbour and so we have already taken action to address issues residents have raised, including restricting the times of deliveries to the site, to limit noise and making sure riders don’t stop in residential areas. “We will always work closely with local authorities and residents to ensure issues raised are dealt with swiftly.”

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