18 Feb 2012

Liquor shop bid dropped amid stream of objections

8:16 pm on 18 February 2012

A Wellington city councillor says the withdrawal of an application to open a liquor shop opposite a school in the suburb of Newtown is testament to the strength of the community's opposition to it.

Luv Khattar pulled the application for Vee's Liquor Planet to open after the Wellington District Licensing Agency received a record number of objections.

The agency received 111 submissions opposing the shop, as well as a petition with 676 signatures.

Objectors received letters on Friday informing them of the withdrawal.

Southern ward Cr Paul Eagle says Newtown is a vulnerable community with a significant amount of alcohol addiction and mental health issues.

He says there are already about 26 liquor outlets in the suburb and another supermarket is due to open in August.

Mr Eagle says the community worked hard to oppose the application and motivate people to make submissions on it.

One of those who objected to the shop opening was the principal of Newtown School, which is directly across the street from the proposed site.

Rhys McKinley says Mr Khatter did the right thing by abandoning his plan to open the shop and must have realised it was the responsible thing to do.

"He must have taken notice of the objections and the submissions and thought these people have got a fair enough view of what should happen in the community," he says.

The Newtown Community & Cultural Centre helped co-ordinate the objections to the proposed shop and chairman Tom Law says he's delighted by the decision.

He says the withdrawal of the application shows communities can be a force to be reckoned with when they are galvanised.