We need to raise £40,000 for specialist legal representation in an ongoing battle to prevent Ocado from operating a 24/7 depot right next to a primary school.
Yes, you read that correctly… Ocado, household name online retailer, are bleeding a local community dry so they can open a distribution depot on a site that shares a thin fence with a primary school playground and densely populated housing.
Since 2019, Ocado have been trying to get unrestricted access to this site, which also borders a much used park. Because of its position, the site is not designated for warehousing and retail uses. But Ocado are attempting to abuse a planning loophole to change the usage. This would allow them to operate without a planning application, and the typical restrictions the Council would impose to protect the neighbourhood from traffic, noise, air pollution, light, damage to local businesses and other harms a major development like this would bring.
At any point over the last four years, Ocado could have listened to the community and made a planning application rather than trying to get in through the back door. Why haven’t they done this? Because they know their depot would be catastrophic for the area… for the residents in the neighbouring housing, for the children in the school, the nursery, for the traffic on the surrounding streets and for users of the park, both human and animal. They want to operate without restrictions.
Over the past 4 years Ocado have been told NO by Islington Council 3 times. They have been told NO at the High Court. They have have been told NO by the Court of Appeals.
So now they are appealing to the Planning Inspectorate, where they will be represented by a major legal team led by a senior KC.
They are using their deep pockets and access to unlimited and expensive legal representation to try to force their depot onto the community. In short, they know the only way they can win is to exhaust our funds, break our spirit and force us to give up the fight.
We aren’t prepared to do that. But we really need your help.
As a community, we need to be represented, alongside the Council, at the Planning Inspectorate.
Please help us defend our community, defend our children and stand up to bullying corporations who care about nothing but their own profits.
Our High Court victory has set a precedent as a benchmark case in planning law. This has become much more than a local issue. The outcome of our battle has far reaching consequences in a story that is becoming more common across the country as online retailers try to get ever closer to their customers. This is our issue today, but it could be yours tomorrow. Help us show Ocado and others that they can't escape public scrutiny and steamroller communities.