The Nocado campaign called the decision “a huge relief”.

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Source: Nocado campaign

Yerbury pupils protesting the Ocado N19 depot outside the Royal Courts of Justice last year

Ocado’s ambition to establish a delivery spoke in north London has suffered yet another setback, after it was blocked by Islington Council.

The Nocado campaign – chiefly made up of parents of children at Yerbury Primary School, which is adjacent to the proposed site – called the decision “a huge relief”.

“We don’t want Ocado next door,” said Eve Bolton, a nine-year-old pupil at the school. “We don’t want to breathe in bad air from vans and lorries. We don’t want noise or stress. All we want is clean air. Thank you to the council for listening to us.”

Ocado has now been engaged in legal wrangling over the proposed spoke site in Islington for more than two years.

The company first applied for a lawful development certificate or the site in April 2019, but its plans for the area were quickly resisted by the Nocado group.

In October 2020, the certificate was revoked after the Nocado group submitted a 100-page pack to the council, refuting landlord Telereal Trillium’s claim the site in N19 had been in constant use for storage and distribution for decades.

In June last year the online supermarket went to the High Court in a bid to overturn the block on the depot’s development. Ocado challenged the council’s decision on numerous grounds, each of which were dismissed by Justice Holgate in his decision.

Ocado then, in September, submitted a Certificate of Lawful Existing Use of Development (CLEUD) to the council – in a bid to push development of the site through.

The campaigners called Ocado’s CLEUD (a legal document that makes lawful a site’s use based on its use over many years previous) application a “desperate attempt to undermine the planning process” and an “attempt to force a 24/7 distribution centre through a planning loophole”.

The CLEUD was this week turned down by the council.

“The decision shows that ordinary people can band together to fight ruthless corporate forces, such as Ocado, who think they have the financial heft to steamroller any opposition,” said N19 resident Mark Hudson. “This decision shows they don’t.”

Ocado said it remained ”committed to the Islington community, where we delivered to one in six households in 2021” and that it would ”continue to look at how we can deliver an even better service to the Borough while also significantly reducing our emissions.”