Out­let’s location crit­i­cised

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

A bot­tle store to be built opposite a church in Cromwell has sparked crit­i­cism from health pro­fes­sion­als and the com­mu­nity.

The Cen­tral Otago District Li­cens­ing Com­mit­tee has ap­proved an off-li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion for Cromwell Liquor Lim­ited to es­tab­lish a Henry’s Liquor out­let on El­speth Street, which will be part of a wider re­tail de­vel­op­ment.

Lynn Grace, sub­mit­ting on be­half of the Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health, said while ini­tially they had not ob­jected to the ap­pli­ca­tion, they had over­looked there was a church nearby.

Health Care South be­lieved the close prox­im­ity of the com­mu­nity church was an is­sue, Grace said, as out­lined in the com­mit­tee’s writ­ten de­ci­sion.

‘‘A place of re­li­gious gath­er­ing or as­sem­bly is iden­ti­fied in many Lo­cal Al­co­hol Poli­cies (LAP) as a ‘sen­si­tive premises’...With­out pro­gres­sion of the draft LAP for Cen­tral Otago, [it] leaves the com­mu­nity vul­ner­a­ble to the sat­u­ra­tion, den­sity and ex­tended hours of al­co­hol avail­abil­ity and the harms that come with that.’’

Chris­tine Hansen, rep­re­sent­ing ses­sion mem­bers of the Cromwell and Dis­tricts Pres­by­te­rian Church, ar­gued the ‘‘amenity and good or­der of the lo­cal­ity would likely be re­duced to more than mi­nor’’ and the busi­ness plan lacked re­spon­si­bil­ity for out­comes re­sult­ing from the sale of al­co­hol. The church was lo­cated di­rectly across the road from the bot­tle store, was of­ten fre­quented by el­derly and ‘‘oth­er­wise vul­ner­a­ble folk’’, and ses­sion mem­bers be­lieved the pres­ence of an al­co­hol re­tailer so close to the church could be in­tim­i­dat­ing. There were also five other liquor out­lets in the area.

DASHA KUPRIENKO

Tam Schur­mann with her daugter Jessie, 5, who is one of helpers when putting to­gether the bas­kets.

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