Who we are
The Nocado Campaign is a broad community coalition encompassing parents and children at Yerbury Primary School as well as the wider residents and community of Tufnell Park and Archway. We are united in opposition to Ocado’s plan to build an intensive 24/7 depot in the heart of our community next to our children and will campaign tirelessly until it is stopped and our community and the school is safe.
What is going on
In December 2019 we learned, through a planning consultation document posted through Yerbury Primary School’s letter box – that Ocado were planning to convert a disused warehouse by the school into a 24/7 distribution depot.
The planning application was for the installation of lights, CCTV security cameras and three diesel petrol pumps to refill a fleet of 100 Ocado vans. The image below shows how this would look with hundreds of vehicle movements along the edge of the playground and the constant noise of vehicles, trailers being loaded and unloaded, staff coming on and off shift through the day and night.
OCADO HAVE NEVER PUT IN A PLANNING APPLICATION TO GET PERMISSION TO RUN A DEPOT HERE.
To operate a distribution depot from the site Ocado need the land to be re-categorised from it’s current light industrial use. In order to get the land re-categorised without putting in a planning application Ocado are using a loophole (a CLEUD) which circumvents the traditional planning application route and avoids public scrutiny.
Planning applications involve questions being asked about suitability and require a range of impact assessments from air, noise and light pollution through to traffic and drainage. Ocado are trying to avoid this, which does beg the question how bad are these assessments? Ocado claim to have done these already but won’t show anyone, including the headteacher of Yerbury School. Legally binding conditions can be attached to Planning Permission if granted, which would offer the children and local residents some protection. Given this depot would be classed as a major development and there is little chance it would get the green light to operate the way in which they are planning.
Ocado are claiming that the land was used continuously for warehousing and distribution for 10 years under BT in the 90’s/00’s but they offer no evidence except the testimony of a witness (and current Telereal employee) who the High Court found to have mislead the council in their first CLEUD application.
How we are doing?
SO FAR SO GOOD! We have won every hurdle put in front of us including at Council level and the Judicial Review at the High Court. Ocado’s first CLEUD was revoked due to misleading information and their second CLEUD was refused due to insufficient evidence.
At the beginning of the summer holidays (when parents are juggling work, childcare and family time) Ocado put in a third CLEUD application with the same evidence (or lack of) as their second CLEUD but removing one of the units of land.
At the same time Ocado also went to the Planning Inspectorate to appeal the Councils decision to refuse their second CLEUD.