Wellington council turns down liquor store application for Khandallah

4:30 pm on 8 October 2019

An application for a new liquor store in an upmarket Wellington suburb has been turned down by the council, after strong opposition from residents.

Woman is standing near shelf with bottle of wine and choosing one. Close up of female hand, rising beverage

Photo: 123rf

The application to open a Bottle-O store in Khandallah was filed in February this year.

Public opposition led to a four-day hearing in August, which had to be moved to a bigger room because so many people showed up.

There were 538 written notices of objection received, with people mostly worried about "good order" concerns.

Submitters argued a bottle store was not in keeping with the village, and that it would disrupt the community feel.

The Wellington District Licensing Committee agreed.

Wellington City Councillor Simon Woolf said the licensing process was "archaic", after it took eight months for the application from Bottle-O to be rejected.

More than 500 written objections were received.

Mr Woolf said he could not be prouder of the community for fighting through the "cumbersome, expensive, and adversarial process".

"Looking at the angst and grief it's caused the community, I think the licensing process is archaic," he said.

"It's certaintly not 2019 - 2020 standards. We can do better."

Mr Woolf said the store would have been too close to schools and other community centres.