Battle to stop liquor store opening continues

BATTLE: The Halswell Residents' Association has appealed against the decision allowing a bottle store to open on 29 Ensign St.

A battle to stop another liquor store from opening in Halswell is continuing to rage on.

The Halswell Residents’ Association has appealed the decision to allow off-licence liquor store Bottle-O Halswell to open on 29 Ensign St, with the opening hours of 9am-11pm daily.

The appeal was made to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.

The bottle store won’t be able to open until the appeal period is finished.

The bottle store was approved by the district licensing committee last month and had 37 objections against the application.

There were also five petitions containing 32 signatures against the application.

Residents’ association chairman John Bennett said
the fact it wants to put an off-licence facility in the middle of suburbia is not good for the community.

“We believe it was wrong and we think that the community deserves better,” he said.

In October it objected to the application with concerns there would be “many aspects of amenity loss” if it was approved.

Mr Bennett said the association believes there are sufficient facilities in Halswell for alcohol with Craythorne’s Public House, Super Liquor and New World Halswell.

But the decision granting the application said Bottle-O Halswell directors Wendy and Richard Gibbons have the experience necessary to safely sell alcohol.

It found the hours of operation were consistent with other off-licence premises in the area and the store was not visible to schools and pre-schools.

The residents’ association argued in its objection that since The Quarry Bar & Bistro has gone from Ensign St there has been an improvement in the level of amenity and petty vandalism has gone.

The bar was severely damaged after a fire in 2013.

But the decision said the risk of similar effects arising from the bottle store would be mitigated by the amenity of The Oaks Village Halswell.

It said it will also be minimised by the good amenity in the area, the position of the store within the development and the lack of evidence of disorder in the locality.

The appeal will go to a hearings panel later this year.

Bottle-O Halswell Ltd director and shareholder Mrs Gibbons did not respond to Western News.

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