Plans for a bottle store in a largely residential part of Lower Hutt have alarmed neighbours, who have organised a public meeting to discuss their reaction.
A proposal to open a new bottle store at 802 High St, Epuni, has been submitted to the Lower Hutt District Licensing Agency.
Objections must be lodged by 5pm next Tuesday. As of yesterday, only three had been received.
However, Bradley Inwood, of a Neighbourhood Watch group, said he had canvassed the area and found almost universal opposition to the plan to open a bottle store.
"Over the weekend I would have spoken to 20 people, with all against it except one, who was sitting on the fence."
He was concerned the bottle store was near a creche and local schools, including Naenae College. It would be open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.
"It will be catering for the extreme drinkers."
About 20 locals gathered outside the planned site yesterday to discuss their concerns.
Brian Field said elderly people who lived nearby were concerned a bottle store would lead to people loitering in the area. "It's frightening for a number of them."
Cara Foothead, of Avalon Podiatry, said she was concerned at the long proposed opening hours. "We have a number of clients who should be drinking less, not more."
Community opposition stymied proposed off-licence stores earlier this year in Mungavin Ave, Porirua East, and in Riddiford St, Newtown.
New plans for an off-licence in Newtown Ave have also raised community concerns.
The public meeting will be at the River of Life Centre in High St, Lower Hutt, at 7.30pm tomorrow.
- The Dominion Post
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