Bay liquor stores given go ahead

By Roger Moroney

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Applications to open two new Big Barrel liquor stores in Taradale and Waipukurau have been given the green light.

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority granted Padda Enterprises the off-licences which will come into play 20 days after the May 8 decision.

Initial plans to add the outlets had caused controversy and opposition in both centres.

After they were advertised there were 24 public objections to the planned Taradale shop in Gloucester St, and 22 to the Waipukurau shop planned for Ruataniwha St.

At its hearing in Hastings on April 11, the authority heard from five objectors to the Taradale store and three to the Waipukurau one.

It was the second application to be made by Padda Enterprises for a Taradale store. Its first, in 2010, was withdrawn by the company after it met residents concerned that the site was near a school.

One of the directors of Padda Enterprises, Palwinder Singh, said they had chosen the new Gloucester St location as it was not near any schools, had good off-road parking, a separate delivery lane to reduce congestion and was in a commercial-zoned area.

They believed a new "craft" range of beer they planned to introduce would be well received in Taradale.

The Taradale premises formerly housed the ANZ Bank and the Waipukurau building the former RSA.

Neither Police nor the District Licensing Agency Inspector opposed the applications.

Licensing Agency inspector Jason Sheehan said the directors and shareholders of Padda Enterprises were well known to himself and police - "in all regards the applicant does not present any concerns in terms of suitability".

Big Barrel has seven other outlets across Napier, Hastings, Clive and Havelock North, and Mr Singh said the new premises would be staffed by certified and experienced managers.

The company had only one blemish - selling liquor to a minor in 2008.

Mr Singh said that had been "a wake-up call" and he had worked closely with police and licensing, as well as strengthening compliance systems, to ensure it did not repeat. He said the longer hours of 9am to 10pm would operate only during the busy December and January period and would be reduced for the rest of the year.

Some objections had been voiced on the grounds of possible security and disorder problems around both shop areas, but they were not found to breach Liquor Licensing Act criteria.

One of the objectors, Napier Community Patrols co-ordinator Sandy Ibbotsen, said she was disappointed to hear the news.

"When we are out and about, we see the issues around alcohol. Taradale has had its problems on the periphery but the main street has not been such a problem - I predict that will change."

She said she hoped Mr Singh would stick to his "likely" opening hours.

"The less hours open the better."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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