Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Wendy's withdraw application for liquor licence

Wendy's will be alcohol-free for the time being after withdrawing their application for a liquor licence. Photo / Greg Bowker
Wendy's will be alcohol-free for the time being after withdrawing their application for a liquor licence. Photo / Greg Bowker

Fast food chain Wendy's have withdrawn their application for a liquor licence in one of their South Island stores after facing staunch opposition from local community groups.

In October last year, the Hornby restaurant applied to the Christchurch City Council for a liquor licence between the times of 8am and 11pm, which would allow diners to have a beer or another alcoholic beverage with their burger and fries.

The application faced strong opposition, however, from The Salvation Army and other members of the Hornby community.

It was due to go to a hearing before the District Licensing Committee at the end of May, however Wendy's withdrew their application before the hearing could go ahead.

Director of The Salvation Army Hornby, captain Eric Turner, said he was "delighted" at the news.

"I am extremely happy with the result. This is such a win for the local community. Nothing positive would have come of the local Wendy's selling alcohol in Hornby.

"We already have too many outlets selling alcohol and enough challenges from alcohol-related harm. This is a wonderful sign of opposition."

Salvation Army social policy and parliamentary director Ian Hutson said the fight was not over, however.

"Wendy's openly used this application as a test case to "up their" game as a brand. A success would have created a damaging precedent for other fast food outlets to apply around New Zealand.

"However Wendy's are clearly still committed to testing this in other places around the country."

The fast food chain has faced opposition from the outset of the application process with Hornby deputy mayor Vicki Buck revealing she had concerns if it were to be approved.

Ms Buck said fast food outlets are often "gathering places for young people", so "just the fact that alcohol is present there will concern a number of people".

Wendy's could not be reached for comment when approached after business hours.

- NZ Herald

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