Dark stores win a first legal round against the town hall of Paris – Image


Two fast delivery brands, whose sites are nicknamed “dark stores”, have obtained a first legal success against the town hall of Paris by suspending nine reports of infringement of the town planning code, the administrative court recognizing them as a “collective interest”.

The formal notices sent in June and July by the city to the companies Frichti and Gorillas, ordered to restore “in their original state” nine premises under penalty of an administrative penalty of 200 euros per day of delay, are suspended, a decided the Paris administrative court in an order issued on Wednesday, of which AFP had a copy. These premises, where everyday products ordered on the internet and delivered in a few minutes to the home are stored, “present a collective interest” in that they make it possible “to optimize the delivery time and method in urban areas” and therefore to “reduce truck traffic and the number of delivery points in intramural Paris”, estimated the judge in chambers. “This is bad news in our fight against dark stores, which we have no doubt will succeed”, commented the assistant for urban planning Emmanuel Grégoire during a press briefing convened on Friday.

On the front line in the face of this phenomenon with a hundred listed addresses, Paris is awaiting the publication of the decree promised in early September by the government to put an end to the “vagueness” over the status of these premises, confirmed as warehouses and not as shopping. But “the administrative court did not rely on a decree which did not come out” and therefore considered these signs as “urban logistics spaces” which can legally be established “anywhere”, summarized Mr. Grégoire deploring an “aberrant decision in terms of law”. “Urban France supports the city of Paris because the risk of jurisprudence is real”, assured in a press release this association which brings together 108 communities. “Legal instability will not help local authorities to implement a stable and concerted framework for commercial establishments in town centers and town centres”. “The judge indicated that the premises operated by Frichti and Gorillas are
intended for the reception and occasional storage of goods (…), to the provision of these orders to bicycle delivery men, that the storage of the goods is intended to be temporary, since the sales strategy (. ..) is based in particular on the freshness of the products”, still welcomed Gorillas.

The town hall, which had just notified financial penalties on four of these nine addresses, objects of the appeals of Frichti and Gorillas, will appeal in cassation before the Council of State, indicated Mr. Grégoire. If this decision “will make us fall behind”, still deplored the first deputy, the city will continue the instruction of these minutes, about forty at this stage, “despite the legal wavering”, assured the right arm by Anne Hidalgo. Trade assistant Olivia Polski anticipates legal action from local residents “who can’t take it anymore”, exasperated by the nuisance caused by the ballet of delivery men.

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