Newtown to fight another liquor store

MARY BAINES
Last updated 09:06 06/12/2012

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The Wellingtonian

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Some Newtown people are concerned that a new off-licence liquor outlet proposed to open in the new year will be harmful to their community.

Planned to open on Newtown Ave, Newtown Liquor Shop would be the fifth alcohol shop in the suburb.

Newtown Community Centre co-ordinator Anna Costley said the proposed liquor store would be within 100m of two existing liquor outlets, near playgrounds, and open from 9am till 11pm, seven days a week.

"For a suburb of Newtown's size, there are a lot of liquor outlets. It's very high density," she said. "It's hard for families to walk around Newtown without seeing alcohol advertising."

Ms Costley said residents would object to another liquor outlet going up in their suburb and were getting organised because of what happened earlier this year.

In February, the Newtown community stopped an off-licence liquor outlet after a record 110 objections were lodged against Vee's Liquor Planet.

It had been proposed to open it opposite Newtown School.

Wellington city councillor Paul Eagle said that though the community had been successful in stopping a liquor outlet in the past, it continued to be an uphill battle.

"We shouldn't have to oppose these liquor outlets year after year," Mr Eagle said.

"It is totally unfair on communities."

Newtown Residents Association chairman Martin Hanley said the association would file an objection.

But though some people were adamantly opposed to the proposal, he said others thought that if a liquor store was going to go up, this was a good site for it.

He said previous proposed liquor stores had been sited badly, near schools and parks but the new one was down a side street where children did not usually walk.

"If we had been asked to pick potential sites, having it on that street could cause less harm," he said.

But for the shop to be safe for workers and passers-by it would have to be well-lit and have a window frontage, which the licensing plan did not show, he said.

"If this one went up, it might actually put a lid on other liquor stores being put up in the future."

Objections to the proposed store must be lodged with the District Licensing Agency by 5pm, Monday, December 10.

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- The Wellingtonian

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