Fastest delivery warehouses threatened with closure in Paris

“Quick delivery players will have to abide by the rules if they break the city planning code”. At the end of a last day of consultation with elected associations and representatives of metropolitan areas on Tuesday, September 6, at the Ministry of the City and Housing, the Delegate Minister responsible for SMEs, Commerce, Crafts and Tourism Olivia Grégoire, and the Deputy Minister of the City and Housing Olivier Klein, dotted the “i”. Dark stores will be considered warehouses, and “no more saves”says Olivia Gregoire.

a dark store is necessarily a warehouse

As part of the consultations carried out since July 6th to regulate the installation of these dark shops in cities and avoid the inconvenience they cause to residents and businesses, it was planned for some time to create an exception to the “under-destination” of these facilities used by fast commerce in the city centre, creating a new category or equating them with stores insofar as they had a collection point accessible to the public. This option has not been maintained.

Dark stores can therefore just be warehouses. A regulatory text will write it in black and white in the coming weeks, which should, elected officials hope, put an end to the ambiguities that Gorillas, Getir or Flink were surfing over. Many dark shops are in fact illegal, having been installed in premises that, according to the local urban plan (PLU), cannot be used as a warehouse, or having not made the change of destination that consists of submitting an application to the city. to convert a commercial space into a warehouse.

if installed in commercial establishments, they must close

This text will be “a tool made available to mayors to regulate” the activity of these operators, explains the government, which considers that a “warehouse has nothing to do in town”. Players in fast trade have so far played with the absence of clear text. A guide published by the Direction de l’Habitat, de l’Urbanisme et des Paysages (DHUP) in March 2022, had already clarified that if a dark store does not receive the public, it qualifies as a warehouse. But this guide obviously had less legal force than a decree or ministerial order.

“Today, the government confirms the illegality of dozens of dark stores and, therefore, the need for administrative or judicial closure”welcomes Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy mayor of Paris. “Our interpretation will be translated into law”. Clearly, dark shops that are installed in places where the PLU refuses the installation of warehouses will be subject to an administrative sanction, that is, a fine, up to a limit of 500 euros per day and 25,000 euros per place, as long as they have not closed. The most refractory can see the police intervene.

the plus is the law for the choice of location

Dark shops will have to resort to facilities eligible for “urban logistics” centers, for example in Paris in empty warehouses or abandoned underground car parks. These areas are specified in the PLUs. Otherwise, they will have to go into exile in the suburbs, but the PLUs being established at the municipal or inter-municipal level, there is no logic of regional planning at the level of the metropolis of Greater Paris. In any case, the concept of these companies being based on delivery in 15 minutes at the most, runs the risk of jeopardizing their already unbalanced economic model.

The mayor of Paris has already initiated proceedings against recalcitrant shady shops, but they are lengthy. “Until now, the sector has enjoyed virtual impunity for violations of the urban planning code because of the delay in the courts”plague Emmanuel Grégoire.

the city hall of paris very uplifted

In all, there would be a hundred dark shops in Paris, and only a few would be in order, according to the first deputy, who doesn’t mince words about fast commerce. “They spit in our face for months”criticizes, obviously having a message to convey to their constituents.

The Paris City Council is due to precisely review its PLU and launches the consultations this evening until November. She hopes to vote on it in early 2023, for implementation in 2024. Given the tone adopted by the capital towards dark stores, the new Parisian PLU is unlikely to open up more space for urban logistics.

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