Brighton and Hove City Council served the company with the enforcement notice earlier this month, telling Deliveroo it must cease food preparation and delivery, remove the vents and other additions it had added to the unit in Saxon Works, Olive Road.
Chefs employed by restaurant brands including Gourmet Burger Kitchen, VIP Pizza and Thaikun cook delivery-only meals at the location which are then picked up by Deliveroo couriers.
“Deliveroo believed they could operate the premises under a B1 use class, but after research and consideration we made the judgement that this use class isn’t suitable for the activities being undertaken,” says a council spokesperson. “The local planning authority considers that the use is causing harm to the amenity of occupiers of nearby residential properties.”
Deliveroo is appealing the decision, and told local paper The Argus that its planning permission for light industrial or warehousing use is acceptable, because the unit is not open to customers.
It has the same planning designation, a B1 licence, at its other Editions kitchens in Nottingham, Leeds and London, and says councils at those sites have given their approval.
The injunction was handed down on March 1 and the unit continues to trade. The company has until July 5 to comply with the order, which would effectively stop the unit trading. It is understood it could take “several months” for a decision to be reached on it appeal.
Concerns have previously been made about the use of dark kitchens by Green councillors Phelim Mac Cafferty and Lizzie Deane, who have spoken about the impact Deliveroo has on the city.
“I’m concerned that local restaurants may find themselves forced out by this uncompromising business model,” says Mac Cafferty.
Deliveroo opened at the Olive Road site in April last year to widen its delivery radius to include west Hove. A spokesperson for the company says it had legal advice that the site in Hove had the right planning permission.