Right now, Ocado is building a distribution centre next to school, with diesel storage tanks, diesel vans and HGVs situated barely three metres from the school playground and nursery facilities - all in a densely-populated residential area of North London. This depot will send diesel fumes into the school playground damaging our children’s long-term health and education.
This is an unprecedented location for a 24-hour facility like this, with a over a hundred diesel vans coming and going every day, lorries loading and unloading day and night and hundreds of additional car and scooter visits for their new 1-hour service. That’s many thousands of polluting vehicle movements every week.
The air pollution and constant engine and generator noise will harm the health and education of around a thousand young children over the next decade, not to mention the well-being of residents in the surrounding streets.
There is a wealth of evidence showing the serious negative impacts of diesel fumes on the physical and cognitive development of children, particularly on the youngest and most vulnerable.
Yet incredibly the law does not prevent a diesel facility like this being built next to a school.
Why should we - or any parents anywhere - expose our children to dizziness, headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, and in the longer term increased risk of cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and respiratory disease, and lung cancer?
We cannot stand by and let our children face these life-long health hazards. And once we stop this Ocado development we want to stop anything like this happening to other schools.
We understand that people need food and have families to feed.
But there are very good reasons why these types of facilities have always been on larger industrial estates with proper access roads suited to heavy vehicles and at least a few hundred metres from the closest schools, nurseries and housing .
Ocado and Marks & Spencer (who own 51% of Ocado) know the damaging effects of this depot, which is why they sought planning permission under cover of the company that owns the land and did not consult with the community whose daily lives the depot will be damaging.
Their planning applications have been carefully divided to avoid scrutiny - and it has to stop now.
We need your support to stop Ocado. As a society we must draw a line and say no to developments that value convenience over our children’s and our own health.
This won’t be the last case like this – as online shopping expands, planning issues like this will become more and more common.
Your support will help us stop this depot and then take the fight further as we also aim to change the law so other communities don’t have this happen to them. It should not happen in our community and it should not happen to any.
The money we raise will go towards our legal challenge of this development along with helping us spread the word about the NOcado campaign. All money goes directly into fighting our campaign.
Ocado have stated that they want the depot to be operational by the end of the year. Construction on the site continued throughout the coronavirus crisis and if we do not stop them within a matter of months it will be too late. We need your support NOW.
You can help us fight to save our children’s health. You can help us stop this happening to another school. Together we can make this change happen. Pledge your support.