Dark Kitchen Mega Cube Gets the Go Ahead

260 units at Portal Way will cater to online delivery services

A visualisation of the planned building on Wales Farm Road
A visualisation of the planned building on Wales Farm Road . Picture: Dowen Farmer Architects


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March 20, 2024

Approval has been given to a 12-storey cube shaped building in North Acton that will contain 260 ‘dark kitchens’ making meals for online delivery services.

The design by architects Dowen Farmer for the Dephna Group on Wales Farm Road was given the go ahead by the planning committee of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) on 7 March.

The first building of its kind in the country, Portal Way is a 28,000 square-metre building which the developers say will lead to the employment of over 1,200 people. There is already a commercial kitchen operation on the site but the three-storey building will be demolished.

Increasingly food provided by delivery services such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo is provided, not by restaurants with public access, but these commercial kitchens which have no dining space. However, Portal Way will have a communal food hall on the upper ground floor with street vendors and cafes from which it is understood it will be possible to order from kitchens in the facility.

There would be a food hall at the upper ground floor level.
There would be a food hall at the upper ground floor level. Picture: Dowen Farmer Architects

Local restaurant owners have already expressed concerns about the impact of online delivery services on their business. More than one has said that they believe that they have no choice but to sign up on terms that given them a limited margin because otherwise their customers would be targeted by a dark kitchen with a similar offering promoted through the apps.


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