Off-licence stymied

MARNIE HALLAHAN
Last updated 09:44 17/01/2013
liquor

UNWANTED: The application for a licence to open a Super Liquor store at this site in Devonport has been withdrawn due to community opposition.

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Fierce opposition from residents has ended plans for a late night Super Liquor store in Devonport.

The company Nikhil Himalaya, owner of the Pt Chevalier Super Liquor, applied for a licence to open a second outlet in Bartley Square, next to the Post Shop, late last year.

The application caused significant community concern, Devonport Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby says, and residents quickly took action.

A groundswell of opposition, including 120 submissions to the council and some directly to the landlord, has led to the withdrawal of the application, he says.

"The community has spoken loudly and clearly.

"It does not want to see a proliferation of off-licences - with the plethora of social disturbance issues they bring - in neighbourhoods," Mr Darby says.

"It was wise of the applicant to recognise and respond to the public backlash."

An Auckland Council spokesman says 120 submissions to a liquor licence application is an unusually high number.

The vast majority of applications receive no objections.

Former community board member Roger Brittenden was one of the submitters and spread word of the application to other residents.

"It's a very active local community and people stand up for what they think is right," Mr Brittenden says. "And we've realised that if you've got the numbers you can scare off the applicant or the council."

He says that with the local supermarket selling beer and wine and Glengarry across the road the area doesn't need another alcohol store.

"Especially one with a crass retail frontage that stays open until midnight, it just wouldn't have fitted in in Devonport."

Nikhil Himalaya director Ravinder Arora could not be contacted for comment.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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