A London council is to introduce a planning policy aimed at tackling disturbance caused by a growing number of delivery drivers serving online food delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

In a statement, Westminster City Council said that it recently “set a new precedent” by taking enforcement action against a branch of Nando’s in Westbourne Grove, where residents had been “repeatedly disturbed by large groups of moped delivery drivers gathering and waiting for orders”.

Westminster said that its emerging city plan will introduce a new policy “to support this kind of action, the first of its kind”.

It said that restaurants providing large numbers of deliveries through apps “to the point they are no longer a secondary use will have to apply for planning permission for the change of use, and demonstrate that they minimise disruption in local neighbourhoods”.

City council cabinet member for planning and public realm Daniel Astaire said: “We have nearly 3,000 restaurants in Westminster and the council needs policies to keep up with new technology, ensuring that areas can cope with the increased demand for food deliveries. Left unchecked this will create traffic chaos.

“These apps provide a fantastic service and we understand that for every delivery driver there is a customer. It is a popular, much needed service but we can’t allow the city to be swarmed with delivery drivers.

“We already make effective use of our planning powers. Having a policy will strengthen our hand in managing the flow of deliveries in the city, tackling noise disturbances and antisocial behaviour.”

Source: Michael Donnelly, Planning Resource, 11 December 2017

Local Comment:  Is this a problem in your street?  There are delivery-only food businesses operating out of domestic kitchens all around the country.  If you are being disturbed by a large number of delivery drivers visiting a property in your street, we could consider including a similar policy to that used in Westminster in our neighbourhood plan. – Philip Barton