October 28, 2017 10:18 AM Subscribe
A tatty car park under a railway line is squeezed between a busy road, an industrial site and a semi-derelict pub covered in graffiti. It’s one of the grittiest parts of east London and probably the last place you would imagine some of the trendiest eateries in the country to be preparing meals. But the grimy spot is just a short moped ride from the gleaming office towers of Canary Wharf and upmarket docklands apartments, and is therefore the perfect location for the latest idea from Deliveroo, the food courier service. It is setting up dozens of “dark kitchens” in prefabricated structures for restaurants that want to expand their businesses without opening expensive high street premises.Sarah Butler, How Deliveroo's 'dark kitchens' are catering from car parks, The Guardian (28 October 2017).
The "Deliveroo Editions" concept is a key part of the tech company's growth plan, underwritten in part by the £210 million in venture capital funding it raised in 2016. However, Deliveroo is already facing a backlash in Britain from both council planners and residents, who claim that the company has not sought planning permission for a number of the sites. Residents complain of constant moped noise and loitering drivers:
One site in Camberwell may close because neighbours have complained about the noise of Deliveroo delivery drivers turning up on mopeds, and because the site doesn't have planning permission. Brighton and Hove council is similarly investigating a pop-kitchen in Hove, while Haringey council said it hadn't received a planning application for Deliveroo's site in Hornsey, north London.Shona Ghosh, Deliveroo reportedly failed to ask council permission to build some of its pop-up kitchens, Business Insider (9 October 2017).
... Southwark councillor Mark Williams said: "The council is concerned by Deliveroo's use of the Valmar Road trading estate as their kitchen pods are close to people's homes, are clearly disturbing the residents and they didn't apply for the necessary planning permission.
Responding to Southwark residents' concern about the new business model's impact on their local communities, a Deliveroo spokesperson said:
“Deliveroo has taken the necessary action in relation to planning permission for our active sites and pre-launch sites. We will always work closely with local councillors and residents to improve our operations, and will address any concerns raised. Deliveroo Editions is a revolutionary new platform that will enable hundreds of restaurants to reach new customers in cities around the world, without needing new high street premises.[Previously.]
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