Cambridge people are being urged to consider whether an application to establish the town’s ninth bottle store in the former Guthrie Bowron premises on Victoria St should proceed.
The application for an Off Licence by Blue Drops Ltd was received by Waipā District Council on May 31 May; public notices appeared last month with the objection period ending on June 30. No objections were received from the public.
The application is for seven days trading from 10am to 10pm. It is in the early stages of being processed and is sitting with the Police and the Medical Officer of Health for assessment before going to the council-established District Licensing Committee for consideration.
Police’s role is to provide proactive measures to mitigate any alcohol-related harm.
Community Law in Hamilton has a service supporting the community to object to alcohol licences.
Deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk said she believed there should be a limited number of outlets per head of population.
“I know that the Cambridge community is sensitive to new outlets and this solution would provide some limitations.
“If an off licence is granted then Cambridge can be very confident that a robust process has taken place, those approving this off licence are no pushovers,” she said.
Waipā’s District Licensing Committee is chaired by commissioner Sara Grayson and includes deputy chair Cr Marcus Gower and members Ross Murphy, Patsi Davies, Michael Cameron, Roy Johnstone and John Gower.
Its purpose is to consider and determine applications for licences, manager’s certificates, renewal of licenses and manager’s certificates, temporary authorities and other matters pursuant to section 187 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
Records suggest Cambridge already has eight bottle stores, four supermarket outlets, some dairies and several small bars and restaurants all within two to three kilometres of the proposed new off licence.
Social media comment on the application was mixed but most seemed to oppose the bottle store opening.
Blue Drops Ltd is a limited liability company established in April with its registered office at 32 Swayne Rd in Cambridge. The directors are Avtar and Kanwaljeet Singh who according to Companies office records have interests in other bottle stores around New Zealand trading as Thirsty Bull, Blackbull and Big Barrel.
The News asked police and the medical officer of health for their comments.
A police spokesperson said they were aware of the application and intended to make submissions in relation to it.
“It would be inappropriate to comment on the contents of those submissions at this stage.”
Waikato DHB medical officer of health Dr Richard Hoskins said when assessing applications, he would consider proximity and number of other bottle stores operating nearby.
“Other criteria that may be relevant to this assessment might include days and hours of operation, proximity to child-care facilities, evidence of alcohol related harm in the area such presentations to our hospital emergency department.
“Once we have completed this inquiry, we have the ability to raise matters in opposition to an application,” Dr Hoskins said.
The council itself has a Local Alcohol Policy developed to establish its position on licensing matters such as the location, number and trading hours of licensed premises.
The policy says an off licence will not be issued for new premises where the site frontage directly borders any place of worship.
The premises are less than 100m from St Andrews Anglican Church.