Plans for a new liquor store on a busy Mt Albert road have been thwarted after an outcry by residents.
The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority has turned down an application to open the proposed Kiwi Drive Liquor outlet on the corner of New North Rd and Asquith Ave.
The site - formerly occupied by a petrol station - is in a prime location on a main street near residential homes, takeaway stores and other shopping outlets.
An application to open the new liquor outlet was lodged by Emkay Trading in December. It already runs the Kiwi Liquor shop about 100m down the road.
Mt Albert resident and Albert-Eden Local Board member Pauline Anderson said the community had always been strongly against the proposed store and it showed when dozens of residents turned out to a court hearing last month.
"We were going to fight it all the way. We managed to get people out for the protests, organised submissions and got more than 700 signatures on a petition," she said.
At the hearing in the Auckland District Court before Judge John Hole, residents were given the chance to say why they objected to the liquor outlet, which had proposed opening hours of 7am to midnight. Neither the Auckland Council nor police had put forward objections.
Locals argued that a liquor store in that spot would have negative effects on many parts of the community, including children who walked to several primary, intermediate and high schools every day.
A parking area behind the building and carparks in nearby reserves might encourage people to continue drinking alcohol, despite there being a liquor ban.
The site was also close to four churches, including a Methodist one 100m away which held regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Resident Chris Douglas - who lives right next to the proposed liquor store site - said he and his wife would have considered moving out of their home if it had gone ahead.
"We've got a 2-year-old daughter and we would have had to look at our different options if it had gone up.
"There are lots of young families here and I'm sure we wouldn't have been the only ones [thinking of shifting]. Mt Albert's a great neighbourhood and we love it here. But having a liquor store next door wouldn't have worked for us."
The authority's decision said the application was refused because granting it would contribute to liquor abuse and a breach of local laws.
Mrs Anderson said: 'It's a big win for a community and should give hope to a lot of other communities who have the same problem."