Residents on a small pedestrianised alley in Islington are complaining of the noise from deliveries from a warehouse operation set up on their street.
Gorillas Technologies were quizzed at a recent council meeting as to why they had set up their “dark store” in a small unit on a tiny residential street, which neighbours say reverberates to the noise of trollies servicing grocery deliveries.
Islington councillors granted an alcohol licence to Gorillas despite resident objections, with the company’s solicitor itself explaining that the business model of the company which promises ten-minute deliveries within the local area necessitated the placement of the warehouse.
Gorillas’ representative said: “They have lots of little warehouses all over the place to deliver groceries within a small radius but a very fast response time. They opened one in Hackney before this one, and have applied for about 25 around London, Manchester and Southampton.
“We appreciate it is a residential area, and are doing our best to try and strike a relationship with the residents and be a good neighbour and community asset. The difficulty for the residents is that all of the objections are nothing to do with the licence application.
“What the residents are saying is that they don’t want Gorillas there, and that’s a problem for them, I’m afraid, that can’t be solved, because we are there, and whether a licence is granted or not, we are going to be there anyway. They’ve got it and they’re going to have to deal with it.”
While Gorillas said it is happy to cut back its deliveries to between 9am and 4pm for residents’ sake, that given the small unit is less than 500 sqm2 it operates under permitted development rights, meaning there are no planning restrictions and enabling it to be used for the purpose.
One neighbour said: “There have been over 22 objections from a small alley of family apartments. I am a landlord for one of the properties – I live round the back and I can still hear the trollies there.
“Godson Street is an alleyway of riven stone, pedestrianised, and is filled with residents. We have families living there, and the impact will be that people will move out. We will lose part of the community if this continues.
“I have been in email conversation with the German main office about what they are doing. They have tried very hard, but it is not enough. We were assured that they would only use soft-wheel trollies, but the wheels are the most important issue.
“This area is saturated with an abundance of small businesses that are trying their best, and we wish Gorillas the best of success with their business. We would love them to stay in the area, we want them here, but not on Godson Street. This is a family street. We want to plant trees, we want this to be an oasis.”
Councillors, having heard arguments from Gorillas that the granting of the licence would in fact allow greater regulation of the business’ behaviour, granted the application for alcohol sales on the condition that loading and unloading of Gorillas’ delivery trollies would be carried out “to minimise noise and not give rise to nuisance,” with licensable goods deliveries restricted to between 9am and 4pm.