'Victory for people' over Porirua bottle store

BRONWYN TORRIE
Last updated 08:46 09/03/2012

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Porirua

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Community pressure has stubbed out plans to open a new suburban bottle store in Porirua East.

"It was community action that really won a victory for the people" Ranui Residents Association secretary Lepeti Tea said.

Owner of 18 Mungavin Ave John Cheung decided not to lease his vacant shop between the St Vincent de Paul store and Dr Larry Jordan's surgery to Babu Patel and Anita Patel.

The Patels applied last year to open the Mungavin Ave Liquor Centre.

They wanted to sell alcohol from 9am till 11pm Sunday to Wednesday and 9am till midnight Thursday to Saturday.

This riled residents and 32 objections were received by the Porirua District Licensing Authority, which is run by the Porirua City Council.

The application had not been formally withdrawn, a council spokesman said.

If they want to open a bottle store at a new premise they would need to submit a fresh application.

Mr Cheung said he was swayed by the backlash, but was now searching for a new tenant.

"There's a lot of people that didn't really want the bottle store in that particular shop on that street, so I thought the best thing is not to have a bottle store."

A petition launched 10 days ago had gathered 350 signatures from people who did not want bottle store in their community and so close to Porirua East School, Ms Tea said.

Meanwhile, a date has been set for a Liquor Licensing Authority hearing on the renewal of Thirsty Liquor's off-licence.

The hearing will be held on May 2 in the Porirua District Court.

Thirsty Liquor, formerly known as the Fantame Liquor Store, is in Cannons Creek and opposite Russell School.

The hearing was adjourned last year to give owner Chiman Patel time to separate his grocery and bottle store businesses.

It is illegal for a grocery store to sell spirits and ready-to-drink bottles.

Last month, Newtown residents celebrated a win over a bottle store when the owner withdrew his application to open across the road from a primary school.

Luv Khattar voluntarily withdrew an application to run Vee's Liquor Planet over the road from Newtown School in Riddiford St after an unprecedented public outcry.

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A record 111 objections were received by the Wellington District Licensing Agency and a petition collected 676 signatures.

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