A group of Camden residents’ associations is the latest to hit out at food and drink delivery operations setting up on people’s doorsteps.
Deliveroo kitchens in both Camden and Islington have given neighbours cause for concern over the past couple of years.
Now sustainable grocery delivery company Farmdrop, which uses Deliveroo for its logistics, is the latest firm in dialogue with “upset” residents surprised by its plans to establish a warehouse in a railway arch on Hartland Road.
Pat Thomas of the Harmood, Clarence and Hartland residents’ association said: “It’s fair to say that some of the residents who live close to the proposed site are pretty upset by this proposed application. It was advertised beforehand, but not on the public highway, and it seems Camden had not checked on this.
“Residents are also concerned by the potential constant presence of vehicles bringing goods to the site and taking them away for delivery. There is a primary school within metres of the site and a park next to it.
“This application is not about the existence of the enterprise but about its ability to include alcohol in its warehouse and its deliveries, and the consequences and protective measures needed to control this.”
Thomas called for all deliveries from the site to be made by pedal bike or electric vehicle, but Cllr Steve Adams noted that Farmdrop representatives were as frustrated as residents that the company has little control over what types of vehicle Deliveroo uses.
Residents also called for Farmdrop to let its delivery riders know to take “special care” given the proximity of the school.
While Deliveroo has adopted electric vehicles in one of their kitchens in Camden, the firm has not been able to do this at similar sites in Islington.
A licence for deliveries of alcohol was granted to Farmdrop this week, with an accompanying note welcoming the company’s desire to switch to environmentally friendly vehicles where possible.
A Farmdrop representative said: “We try to operate with a minimum of environmental impact. We use electric vehicles where possible, we are powered by renewable energy, and we use low or sustainable packaging solutions where possible.
“Due to the past year, we have experienced a huge increase in demand, and have been able to support customers shopping at home but also our suppliers, quite a few of whom have their customers in the hospitality industry, which meant they experienced a drop in demand which we were able to help with.”
Cllr Adams added: “The only reason this is before us is because it involves alcohol. The business is an existing operation and its control at the moment without alcohol would only be under planning.
“It appears to be almost as frustrating to the applicant that they cannot move towards electric vehicles as it is to everybody else, but maybe we just have to have faith that that is the growing direction, rather than bemoan something we cannot impose anyway.”