Bar owner not beam­ing yet

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

It’s ar­guably Toko­roa’s most ex­cit­ing busi­ness ven­ture in years but it’s owner might not be able to open due to dis­agree­ment with coun­cil over an ex­posed beam.

Wawa Eatery owner Lor­raine Young said the coun­cil’s re­fusal to sign-off the bar was ‘‘lu­di­crous’’ and sai they needed to ‘‘wake-up’’.

Young has spent sev­eral months work­ing on her new restau­rant and bar in Bridge St.

With its trendy in­dus­trial theme it’s an eatery that would not seem out of place in up-mar­ket Pon­sonby.

She was now ready to open in time for Christ­mas. The coun­cil, how­ever, was now re­fus­ing to let her.

That’s be­cause of an ex­posed beam above the bar area po­ten­tially catch­ing dust and fall­ing into drinks - some­thing Young said was not ques­tioned when the coun­cil granted its ini­tial con­sent sev­eral months prior.

‘‘En­vi­ron­men­tal health man­ager John An­der­son later came for an in­spec­tion of the floor which needed to be raised and saw the beam and said ‘en­close that girder’.’’

‘‘By that stage we had al­ready done all the light­ing, the bar struc­ture, the floors had been raised, and the plumb­ing was in so I said I wouldn’t do it..’’

‘‘There are ex­am­ples of de­signs like this all over New Zealand that coun­cils have passed but he says I can’t keep it clean. Hon­estly,’’ she said.

She was now tak­ing the is­sue to the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment.

‘‘I am re­ally an­gry be­cause it is what I wanted, it is a theme, and it is good for the town. We were try­ing to open by Christ­mas but it has de­layed us and we can’t hire staff,’’ she said.

‘‘Some say it is a zom­bie town but it is not a zom­bie town, it is a zom­bie coun­cil, and they need to wake up and re­alise that it is this sort of thing that puts busi­nesses off from com­ing here.’’

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Kerry Fabrie said the coun­cil’s hands were tied.

‘‘Un­der the Food Hy­giene Reg­u­la­tions, Sched­ule 1 (Re­quire­ments for regis­tra­tion of premises), clause 4 (ceil­ings b), it states un­der ‘All trusses shall be com­pletely en­closed’.

Coun­cil can­not reg­is­ter a premises if the premise does not com­ply with Sched­ule 1,’’ she said.

Fabrie said the ini­tial ap­proval for the busi­ness was sub­ject to it com­ply­ing with reg­u­la­tions.

Lor­raine Young be­low an ex­posed beam which is pre­vent­ing her from open­ing her new restau­rant and bar in Toko­roa

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