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Deliveroo’s car park kitchens plan triggers backlash from neighbours

Takeaway operators say they will bring new life to empty space

05 October, 2017 — By Tom Foot

Elaine Bodenitz at the site near Finchley Road

TAKEAWAY operators Deliveroo have started building nine kitchens in a Swiss Cottage car park, angering neighbouring residents.

The firm is transforming the back of 117 Finchley Road so it can run a new service where businesses who cannot afford a high street outlet can cook for free. In return, Deliveroo will take a larger sum on each order than they normally do from the delivery service.

The company, who are owned by Roofoods Ltd, have also asked Camden Council for permission to sell alcohol in the former Estancia Brazilian restaurant, which has recently shut down.

Elaine Bodenitz, who lives in Dobson Close, said: “The noise from the bikes is enough, but what about the smell of all that cooking? It’s going to be coming into our gardens and homes. They can’t park out the front on Finchley Road, so they’re going to be coming around here all the time.”

Residents only found out about the scheme from workmen on the site who are already digging water mains in the car park at the Dobson Close junction with Belsize Road. A licensing application has been submitted to the council requesting the sale of alcohol from noon to 11pm seven days a week. The application reveals that the car park building has been divided into nine kitchens.

One resident said: “What is startling is the disdain and cold disregard for the residents who live and sleep on all four sides and above what will be Deliveroo, with the noise of delivery men and their motorcycles. There will be protests.”

A Deliveroo spokesman said: “Deliveroo is proud to be bringing the Editions platform to Swiss Cottage. It provides an amazing growth opportunity for restaurants, and gives locals in the surrounding area a greater selection of food delivery options. The Swiss Cottage Editions will be developed within a long-term vacant lot, giving a new lease of life and purpose to an otherwise empty space.”

He added: “Deliveroo Editions was designed to benefit communities, creating jobs and boosting the local economy. Any concerns raised with Deliveroo will be carefully considered and we’re always open to implementing changes to ensure that residents concerns are addressed. We’re currently discussing proposals with the relevant departments at Camden Council.”

The council said it would not comment on a “live procedure”.

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