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Victory in sight for neighbours fighting to stop Ocado depot

Campaigners videocalled the Mayor’s office in a bid to enlist his support

16 October, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Parents and campaigners from Nocado 

Food delivery giant Ocado says it is “considering all options” after Islington Council blocked its attempt to open a new depot close to a primary school in Tufnell Park.

Objectors hailed the development as a major step forward in their campaign to see the project scrapped.

Islington revoked a certificate that marked the land use for the site on Bush Industrial Estate as being for distribution and storage on Wednesday.

The company had faced opposition from the “Nocado” group made up of people living nearby and parents with children at Yerbury Primary School.

Campaigner Natasha Cox said: “We have been waiting with bated breath for a while and now we are delighted and relieved. We would like Ocado to take the hint. This is a massive step in the right direction.”

Opponents to the depot had braved the rain last Thursday to videocall the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s office on Clean Air Day, asking for him to step in and halt the plans.

Zoe Korsner, another member of Nocado, said: “It’s something that isn’t necessary in an inner-city location. We’ve done fine before without it and we’ll do fine again.

“All day every day there’ll be more noise, more traffic and pollution and could cause harm to so many people.

Cassie Moss, the headteacher at Yerbury, said: “The main focus for a school is to educate and nurture children, and make sure they have the best outcomes in life and that is not only around the academic aspect but also around health and ­well­being.

Yerbury headteacher Cassie Moss 

“Having a distribution site put right next to the school where the fumes are right next to the playground for children to breathe in – that undermines everything we are doing.”

Ocado had pledged to run a fleet of electric delivery vans in a bid to meet concerns over air quality.

An Ocado spokesperson said: “Ocado is committed to being the best possible occupant of the site at Tufnell Park.

“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.

“At a time when delivering groceries to the home has never mattered more, we are disappointed by the council’s decision to revoke the site’s certificate of lawfulness and we are considering all options with the landlord.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “This planning decision lies solely with the local council, not the Mayor. Sadiq is doing everything in his power to stop Londoners breathing air so filthy that it damages children’s lungs and causes thousands of premature deaths.”

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