Home Truck Store Countdown dark supermarket too noisy, neighbour says

Countdown dark supermarket too noisy, neighbour says

Countdown’s first dark supermarket is designed to make life easier for shoppers but some neighbours say the round the clock operation is keeping them awake.

The customerless e-store opened last week and operates non-stop to fulfil online orders in Auckland. 

But neighbour Faith Huang and her partner Tianyi Tang say they are being affected by the constant noise from the store.

Faith Huang and her partner Tianyi Tang are struggling to sleep with the noise of Countdown's new e-store.


Faith Huang and her partner Tianyi Tang are struggling to sleep with the noise of Countdown’s new e-store.

“I know they have increased demand because of the lockdown. But it is quite hard,” Huang said. 

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The e-store is directly behind her house, she said. 

The warehouse was previously used by Fonterra, Huang said.

There had been no issues with noise before the warehouse was turned into the Countdown e-store, she said.

The noise issues began a few weeks ago, she said.

“I can hear people talking, the incoming trucks loading and unloading and the machines clanging,” she said. 

Faith Huang says Countdown's e-store is just 30 metres from her house.


Faith Huang says Countdown’s e-store is just 30 metres from her house.

“There is packaging noise. It’s like you drop some kind of plate on concrete. It doesn’t stop, particularly from midnight to 3am or 4am.”

“I have been trying to sleep between the intervals of the noises, so I try to get some sleep in the morning.”

Huang asked Auckland Council to check the noise levels but she was told that no one would be able to come during lockdown.

“I hope the council can do something. I understand that they need to keep working at this time but I hope they can think of something to reduce the noise.”

The lack of sleep has made it difficult to focus on work, she said. 

Countdown's new e-store is never closed, with staff fulfilling online orders from across Auckland.


Countdown’s new e-store is never closed, with staff fulfilling online orders from across Auckland.

Auckland Council has been approached for comment.

On the council’s website, Countdown’s e-store is listed as being in a light industry zone while Huang’s home is classified as residential.

According to the Auckland Council unitary plan, businesses in light industrial areas have no time limits on operation but must keep noise levels below 65 decibels, the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner.

A Countdown spokewoman said it had received one complaint regarding the noise on Monday night and it was looking into it.

“As we are currently in lockdown, there is very little street or motorway noise anywhere in Auckland at the moment, so that may also be contributing to any noise carrying more than it normally would,” she said. 

“We worked with the council and external noise consultants during the consent process to ensure that our e-store complies with the council’s required noise limits and truck curfews, and that we’re minimising noise wherever possible.”

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