A new bottle store will open in Lincoln after objectors failed to turn up to a hearing to try and stop it.
SJTP Ltd was granted a licence for the Liquorland store in Vernon Drive across from the New World supermarket. It is expected to open soon.
There were 166 written objections to the licence and 48 of those said they wanted to be heard at the hearing which was held in November at the Lincoln Event Centre. But only one of those turned up and that person didn’t want to be heard.
The Selwyn District Licensing Committee released it decision last week.
District licensing chairman Al Lawn said the lack of turnout from objectors at the hearing was “disappointing.”
This was because the applicant is prevented from testing any of the objector’s claims and assertions, he said.
Objectors included Lincoln High School board of trustees chairman Adrian Paterson, Lincoln University’s chief operating officer, businesses and residents.
Mr Lawn said while the majority of objections received were short on detail there were some well thought out and the panel would have welcomed hearing these in person.
“Objectors who do not attend the hearing in support of their objections means that their objections carry little weight,” he said.
Mr Paterson said he did not attend the hearing because its students are not usually going to be in the bottle’s store’s area and thought a written submission was substantial.
“We are always disappointed when there is another (liquor) outlet coming into town,” he
Mr Paterson said there may have been a low attendance because people are unsure if their submission will mean anything.
“Plenty of them get objected to but it doesn’t seem to make much difference,” he said.
A Lincoln University spokeswoman said it did not attend the hearing because while it made a submission it did not directly oppose the application.
However, district council documents list the university as an objector.
Police, the district’s alcohol licensing inspector Helene Faass and the medical officer of health Paula Williams did not oppose the application.
STJP director Sacha Fougere gave evidence at the hearing, outlining her more than 10 years experience in the industry. She said there is substantial growth in the area that can support a further off-licence without increasing harm.
Mr Lawn said the bottle store was allowed to go ahead based on there being no evidence brought before the hearing panel that there was alcohol abuse problems in the area.
“Police did not adduce any relevant crime data. It can therefore be concluded that there is very little alcohol-related harm in the area,” he said.
Conditions include the liquor store will run from Monday to Sunday, 9am-9pm, the whole premises will be supervised and there will be no external advertising of alcohol products on the outside of the building – or on advertising boards outside the premises.