Update 10/17/14 – The Waltham Forest, England, planning committee has approved a Shurgard Self-Storage proposal to build a three-story facility in Highams Park. The site, currently being used by a truck-driving school, is where an empty Focus DIY retail outlet was destroyed by fire in 2012.
The committee approved the plan despite receiving objections from 35 residents and the Highams Park Planning Group. Although the surrounding area is predominantly residential, the site is a designated Borough Employment Area, with a Tesco grocery outlet and other industrial buildings nearby, according to the source. The planned self-storage facility will be three times the size of the former Focus DIY building.
Resident objections included concerns about traffic congestion, the building’s design and lack of new jobs created. "They've got away with getting permission for an enormous building in a designated zone for employment, and there are only three full-time positions. We want real employment, not one or two jobs,” said Chris Twinn, chair of the Highams Park Plan’s Housing and Sustainability Group. "The design itself is very poor and has the appearance of a corrugated tin shed. This is not the impression we want to give as the first building people see when entering the town center. The prosperity of Highams Park depends on bringing in businesses, and with a development of this size, it is simply a lost opportunity."
Jean Kreusch, Shurgard's chief financial officer, said construction on the project will begin in November with a completion date scheduled for next summer.
6/12/14 – Shurgard Self-Storage, the international brand operated by real estate investment trust Public Storage Inc., has proposed to build a three-story storage facility in Waltham Forest, England. The targeted property at the intersection of Larkshall Road and Hickman Avenue in the Highams Park area is currently being used by a truck-driving school and is the site where an empty Focus DIY retail outlet was destroyed by fire in 2012.
The application submitted last month by Shurgard and DMWR Architects Ltd. said the development will "improve a dilapidated site which detracts from the surrounding area, respect the design of surrounding buildings, and create a clean and contemporary new development on the site," according to the source.
The facility will have closed-circuit television and feature landscaping with mature trees, the source reported.
Visibility of the facility along Larkshall Road would be limited due to hedges already in place, as well as additional trees and shrubs planned by the developer. The facility would also be built 20 meters from the main road, according to the source.
Shurgard operates 188 facilities in seven European countries, with approximately 10 million net rentable square feet. Based in Glendale, Calif., Public Storage has interests in 2,202 self-storage facilities in 38 states, with approximately 141 million net rentable square feet.