Jeremy Corbyn, as MP for Islington North, has written to the chief executive of Ocado damning the online retailer’s intention to create a ‘micro-fulfilment centre’ in north London.
A planning application to rearrange an existing warehouse’s outbuildings and car park at Bush Industrial Estate on Station Road to create space for general plant machinery, a diesel generator, three fuel pumps and associated fuel tank, as well as associated works in connection with the use of the existing building as an Ocado delivery warehouse has been submitted to Islington Council.
Parents of a local primary school adjacent to the existing warehouse have raised objections and garnered support from the Islington Labour Party leading to a letter to Ocado co-signed by the soon to be ex-Labour leader as well as Richard Watts leader of Islington Council.
The letter dated 19 December 2019 raises concerns regarding ‘health and safety, air quality and carbon emissions’ stating that ‘the new delivery hub would mean diesel vehicles traveling on the road along Yerbury Primary School’s boundary wall between 10 am and 4pm. This means that severely polluting vehicles would travel outside the school during both morning and afternoon break times, polluting the air that children are breathing in whist they are playing outside’.
The letter states that the hub is ‘strongly opposed’ by the Islington Labour party and looks to effect a meeting with the Ocado chief executive to discuss the concerns raised.
The planning application referred in the letter is specifically for the reconfiguration of the outbuilding of an existing 53,184 sq ft warehouse on the site which was previously occupied by Royal Mail/Parcel Force from 2014 up until 2017 and prior to that by BT.
Telereal, owner of the 1970s building, sought a lawful development certification for the property to be used as a single B8 (distribution and storage) unit in February this year. The property is currently undergoing refurbishment.
Gerald Eve is advising Ocado while JLL and Strettons have been marketing the property for the landlord.
A spokesperson for Ocado told local newspapers: “We are aware of the concerns expressed by Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, regarding the planning application we made in August for a new micro-fulfilment centre nearby to Yerbury Primary School in Tufnell Park.
“We are very sorry for the anxiety that the application process has caused and are addressing these concerns directly with the school and other stakeholders”.