Plans for a bottle store in a former Taradale bank are up in the air with an objection by a local community organisation being heard by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority next month.
The plans for the former ANZ site are being opposed by the Taradale and District Community Development Association, and the objection is scheduled to be heard by the authority, formerly known as the Liquor Licensing Authority, in Napier on April 12, although the date and time are to be confirmed.
The application by Big Barrel liquor stores chain operator Padda Enterprises for an off-licence was made to the Napier District Licensing Agency last year and advertised in late December.
The site has one of the biggest frontages in the Taradale shopping centre, which is in an area controlled by a permanent Napier City Council liquor ban, prohibiting the carrying of any open liquor container in the area.
Taradale association president Bob Morrison says the public notification of the application just before Christmas caught potential objectors "on the hop". The association was objecting for a number of reasons, including that it believed the site was unsuitable and would cause problems in the area.
The association says there are already "enough" liquor licences in the area, and that the proposed trading hours - 9am to 10pm - are "too generous" and will mean that late at night the bottle store could be the only business operating in the shopping centre.
"The association is appalled that the landlord agreed to rent out this prominent site as a liquor outlet," Mr Morrison said.
There are currently 49 premises in Napier with off-licences allowing sale of liquor to be taken from the premises. They include 11 bottle stores, 12 grocery stores and seven supermarkets.
Only five are listed as taverns or hotels, once the only premises allowed to sell liquor, apart from chartered clubs.