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Multi-Story Self-Storage Project Causes Resident Outrage in Hobsonville, Auckland, New Zealand

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Residents are angry about a four-story self-storage development that’s under construction in Hobsonville, a rural suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. The National Mini Storage facility on Hobsonville Road is across from several homes and a school.

Approved by the city in 2016, the project will include 1,400 storage units and 22 parking spaces. The property is zoned for light industrial under the Auckland Unitary Plan, and although the Auckland Council hasn’t received any complaints, one resident claims neighbors are “horrified” about the building, according to the source.

"Now they've got this humungous thing … going up, and it's gob-smacking. And they've only done one half of it so far. The other half is going to block out the sun, literally,” said John Carrodus​, chairman of the West Harbour Residents Association and the Hobsonville Residents and Ratepayers Association.

Although Carrodus said he knew the site was zoned light industrial before construction began, he expected the building to face the freeway and be less intrusive. Now he’s concerned the property will have a negative impact on home values in the area. In addition, he claims the facility lacks an overall aesthetic plan, the source reported.

Resident Murray Cooper, who lives down the street, also questioned why the building wasn’t placed closer to the freeway. He noted his previous view of the hills is now “blanked out totally” by the storage building. Oliver Ivisoni called the structure’s height “not ideal,” but hoped the facility would bring new jobs to the area.

Auckland Council Manager Stefan Naude noted the storage facility is in line with the type of development permitted in the zone. Public notification wasn’t necessary, as the project was considered to have a minor adverse effect on the area, the source reported. The structure’s height of 15 meters falls under the city’s 20-meter building restriction. In addition, National Mini agreed to focus on landscaping as well as create an urban design, particularly where the property faces the road and school.

The storage facility is part of a wider subdivision at 106-108 and 110 Hobsonville Road, which contains 38 industrial lots. With a focus on high-employment density, the redevelopment includes part of the Hobsonville Village Centre, between Hobsonville Road and the Upper Harbour Motorway.

Founded in 1991, National Mini operates nine facilities in Auckland. In addition to traditional storage, it offers vehicle storage, and sells moving and packing supplies.

Sources:

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