Authority hears couple's objection to RSA licence

A couple nervous about the Clutha District RSA running a licensed club at its Clyde St premises had the chance to explain why they were against the idea at a public hearing last week.

The RSA has applied to for a liquor licence to operate as a club from 7am till 1am.

Bruce and Beverly Keith, who live near the premises, both lodged objections to such a licence and on Thursday told the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority they were concerned about the late closing time.

Mrs Keith's main objections were loud voices and car doors slamming which were unacceptable in the early hours of the morning, she said.

She told Judge J D Hole that she would like to see the RSA running again but not at her and her husband's expense.

It was about nine years since the RSA ran a club on the site and it was being run as a tavern by leasees who closed their doors 12 months ago.

When questioned by the judge, Mrs Keith said the tavern had caused her extreme difficulties and she did not see how loud voices and car door shutting could be policed.

Mr Keith said that after 10pm when other nearby businesses had closed, the area became residential by default and that was precious to them.

He urged the RSA to consider its neighbours and pointed out that as the club had no car park, patrons had to park on the street.

Both Mr and Mrs Keith told the hearing that if the closing time was set no later than 10pm they would withdraw their objections.

President Des McBride appeared on behalf of the RSA and outlined its plans for running a licensed premises, limiting patrons and dealing with intoxicated people.

The RSA would be open to members and invited guests only, and would not be a public bar, he said.

Member Ken Mathieson also told the hearing, the executive committee would make sure any guests toed the line and said it would be happy to work with the police over any problems.

The RSA had a centenary coming up and wanted to be ready to enjoy that, he said.

Previously, RSA committee members told the Clutha Leader, that re-opening the club was a way of securing more members to ensure the RSA's future.

The judge will issue a written decision.

Clutha Leader