20 Feb 2012

Businessman praised for withdrawing liquor shop bid

6:04 am on 20 February 2012

The businessman who withdrew a liquor licence application for a shop opposite a Wellington primary school says he suffered a crisis of conscience over the proposal.

Luv Khattar withdrew the application for Vee's Liquor Planet to open in the suburb of Newtown after the Wellington District Licensing Agency received a record number of objections.

The agency received 111 submissions opposing the shop, as well as a petition with 676 signatures.

Objectors received letters on Friday informing them of the withdrawal.

Mr Khattar says he hadn't realised that as well as the school, there were Salvation Army and Cancer Society branches nearby.

He says he has given up on any plans to open a liquor shop and is now focusing on a retail shop in central Wellington.

"So now I'm going to stick to such kind of things which are really good for the community, which are good for the people as well."

A Capital and Coast District Health Board member has applauded the businessman saying Mr Khattar has made the right decision.

Judith Aitken says the number of alcohol shops in Newtown is harmful to the community's health.

Dr Aitken says Mr Khattar had obviously listened to the communities' concerns.

One of those who objected to the shop opening, Newtown School principal Rhys McKinley, says there has been wide interest in the successful protest.

Mr McKinley says people around the country are now contacting the Newtown community centre for help to stop liquor stores outside schools in their neighbourhoods.