Upper Hutt liquor store turned down

Last updated 16:38 02/04/2014

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Regional Public Health has hailed rejection of a proposed new bottle store in central Upper Hutt as a win for the community.

Earlier this week the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority turned down an application from Tony Loveday, trading as Tony's Liquor, for a seven-day off-licence on Wakefield St.

Regional Public Health team leader Kristen Foley said it showed the community's views had been heard.

The Authority's ruling said the location opposite McDonald's was inappropriate and approval would ''reduce the amenity and good order of the locality by more than a minor extent''.

Foley said the area was a well-known hangout area for young people and it was not the right place for another alcohol outlet.

''It is great to see the new legislation being implemented to reflect a harm minimisation focus''.

While the applicant ''just managed to satisfy the authority as to its suitability'' it was not established the approval would be compatible with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, the Authority decision said.

If approval ''results in the consumption of alcohol being undertaken unsafely and irresponsibly, then it contravenes the object of the Act.''

Mr Foley told the Authority the location's attraction for teenagers was the McDonald's family restaurant and bus stops.

''The most popular time when there are secondary students in the area is between 3.30pm and 8pm Monday to Fridays,'' he said.

Upper Hutt Baptist Church youth pastor Paul Thompson said having alcohol available opposite one of the biggest youth hangouts was ''a recipe for disaster''.

The Authority said Thompson was ''an impressive witness with first hand experience of the location.

''He knew the area. He knew the people. He was aware of the problems.

''He was well qualified to give an adverse opinion of the proposal.''

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- The Dominion Post


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