6 Sep 2013

Proposed entertainment precinct in capital dropped

3:44 pm on 6 September 2013

Wellington City Council has scrapped the idea of an entertainment precinct, saying it might stifle innovation in the city.

The proposal, which would have covered Courtenay Place and Cuba Street, has been removed from the final version of a local alcohol policy.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the proposed precinct was not overly popular with police or new licencees.

She said there were concerns it could concentrate trouble and stifle new bars, particularly craft beer bars, that are popping up.

The council is looking to trial earlier cut-off times for sales at supermarkets and bottle stores.

The final version of a new alcohol policy proposes that off-licence premises have maximum trading hours of 7am - 11pm.

Council officers have also recommended a trial period of 9pm closing on Fridays and Saturdays at some bottleshops and supermarkets.

Service development manager Jamie Dyhberg says they want to explore if people will just buy their alcohol earlier and behave in the same way.

The policy will allow bars in the central city to trade until 3am and some untll 5am.

The council may make being intoxicated in a public place an offence.