Restaurant delivery firms will have to prove they are minimising potential disruption to local neighbourhoods or risk enforcement action against them under new rules drawn up by Westminster City Council.
The new policy means that companies such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, which use apps for the majority of their deliveries, will have to apply for planning permission and show they are not bringing unnecessary disturbance to urban areas.
The council has warned that businesses could face “formal enforcement action” if they breach the new guidelines that are set to be introduced in spring 2018, according to The Independent.
Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for planning and public realm, 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.”
He noted that while the food delivery apps provide a “fantastic service”, they will create traffic issues if left unregulated. “It is a popular, much-needed service but we can’t allow the city to be swarmed with delivery drivers,” he commented.
The Independent reported that Westminster has already taken action against a Nando’s branch in Westbourne Grove after receiving more than 25 complaints from residents who claim they were repeatedly disturbed by large groups of moped delivery drivers waiting for orders.
Officers then reported seeing drivers parking inappropriately, making noise and causing congestion.
It eventually ordered the Nando’s branch to stop offering deliveries in a move that Westminster City Council said “set a new precedent”, according to the paper.
Mr Astaire said: “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 anti-social behaviour.”