Bottle store plans declined after public objection
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.