Bot­tle store plans de­clined af­ter pub­lic ob­jec­tion

The Press - - News - MICHAEL HAY­WARD

A con­tro­ver­sial liquor store ap­pli­ca­tion in the Christchurch sub­urb of Hare­wood has been de­clined af­ter staunch op­po­si­tion from lo­cal res­i­dents.

The Christchurch Dis­trict Li­cens­ing Com­mit­tee re­fused the ap­pli­ca­tion, made by Sa­marth Ra­jeshku­mar Lim­bachiya, fol­low­ing a hear­ing in mid-July.

The com­mit­tee made the de­ci­sion based on the opin­ion ‘‘that amenity and good or­der would be re­duced by more than a mi­nor amount’’ if the planned store on the cor­ner of Traf­ford St and Hare­wood Rd was al­lowed to open, the hear­ing doc­u­ment said.

Bruce Tul­loch, a lo­cal res­i­dents be­hind a 1100-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion against the li­cense, said ‘‘gen­er­ally the com­mu­nity is feel­ing re­lief’’ over the de­ci­sion.

‘‘Peo­ple feel we have plenty of ac­cess to liquor if we want it. We don’t need an­other [bot­tle store] in the mid­dle of a res­i­den­tial area.’’

Lim­bachiya’s lawyer An­drew Riches said the de­ci­sion was ‘‘ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing’’, and they were con­sid­er­ing their op­tions.

The hear­ing doc­u­ment noted there was no op­po­si­tion to the ap­pli­ca­tion from the po­lice, the Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer of Health or the In­spec­tor, but ‘‘con­sid­er­able’’ op­po­si­tion from lo­cal res­i­dents.

The doc­u­ment said the com­mit­tee was left with the im­pres­sion Lim­bachiya ‘‘had not thought through his busi­ness pro­posal’’, rais­ing con­cerns about staffing and the phys­i­cal se­cu­rity of the shop.

The com­mit­tee be­lieved the store would add to prob­lems such as lit­ter, pub­lic drink­ing, loud noise from ve­hi­cles ac­cess­ing the shops and noise from peo­ple on the street go­ing to or leav­ing par­ties.

Lo­cals feared the bot­tle store would lead to an in­crease in crime as the iso­lated bot­tle store with low staff num­bers would be seen as a soft tar­get.

The hear­ing doc­u­ment said ev­i­dence from po­lice sug­gested th­ese fears ‘‘may be ex­ag­ger­ated’’ but ‘‘nev­er­the­less they res­onated with us’’.

Colin Fus­sell, left, and Bruce Tul­loch were be­hind a pe­ti­tion against a bot­tle store ap­pli­ca­tion for Traf­ford St in Hare­wood.

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