‘Stress, frustration and rage’: Residents speak out with future of contentious Deliveroo centre in the balance

Roman Way industrial estate. Image: Google

The future of a Deliveroo kitchen operating out of an Islington industrial estate is set to be decided next week, following years of widely reported complaints from neighbours over the nuisance and disruption it causes them.

Residents are sounding off about air and noise pollution from scooters and from the site itself, as well as nuisance and road safety fears caused by the drivers.

The Deliveroo Editions delivery centre on the Roman Way Industrial Estate backs directly onto residential properties, and has been in use since 2017.

It is currently under enforcement by the Town Hall’s planning department for unauthorised change of use, having had a Certificate of Lawfulness application to operate as a kitchen refused.  

Both the refused certificate and the enforcement notice have been appealed by Deliveroo, but the process is on hold until the current application is determined.

A list of conditions for the company is attached to this application, including driver training, management controls on driver behaviour, and a ban on petrol-powered scooters at the site.

A planning report to be decided on by councillors next week reads: “Clearly the use of electric bikes and scooters/bicycles instead of petrol-engined scooters would resolve any noise impacts from the delivery and collection operation and the nearest Deliveroo Editions site at Swiss Cottage has implemented this to resolve noise issues. “

It goes on: “A condition is recommended that limits the hours for deliveries, collections and loading from the site.”

Objections include concerns about speeding drivers, vehicles mounting the pavement, engines left running, loud arguments, and kerbside waste.

One reads: “[The] applicant cannot control delivery drivers when offsite as they are classed as self-employed. Anti-social behaviour has been experienced by residents associated with delivery drivers.

“[The] use is detrimental to the area and significantly degrades the tranquility and safety of the neighbourhood.

“Constant background noise during majority of the day is having an impact on overall health, increasing levels of stress, frustration and rage which is totally unacceptable.

“AC units and fans are left on 24/7 when the unit is closed and causes issues with noise levels on the estate.”

According to the council, the sole use of electric mopeds and bikes has been “discussed at length” with Deliveroo, who say that it is not possible to commit to non-petrol powered vehicles at Roman Way “due to the viability of their operations from the site”.

A number of offers made by Deliveroo as part of the application include an e-vehicle subsidy scheme whereby the top 25 delivery drivers at the site would receive a discount on an electric vehicle.

The company has also offered a community outreach and education programme, with Deliveroo committing to five fortnight-long work experience placements for Islington pupils at its London headquarters.

Planning officers wrote: “This element of the proposal is not considered to be sufficient nor extensive enough to address the concerns raised relating to noise and disturbance from the use of petrol-powered scooters/mopeds. For these reasons, officers have not sought to secure the subsidy scheme as part of the recommendation.”

If decisions go against Deliveroo, the company would have to stop using the site for takeaway food preparation, remove the extractor flues and chimney, and take out all cooking facilities.

The application will be decided on Monday 22 March at Islington’s Planning Sub Committee.

Deliveroo was approached for comment.