Bar applies for existing use rights

The now demolished World Bar was extensively damaged by fire a year ago. Photo from ODT files
The now demolished World Bar was extensively damaged by fire a year ago. Photo from ODT files
Confirming development rights is the first step to re-establishing a building and activity on the World Bar site, an existing use rights certificate application says.

A year ago this month the now demolished World Bar was extensively damaged by fire and now the building's owner, BoydCorp Finance Ltd, has applied to the Queenstown Lakes District Council for an existing use rights certificate for the bar and associated tenancies.

Company director Dave Boyd said the application was just to reserve the previous rights and an actual resource consent application would likely follow when a building design had been decided upon.

''There are several options that are on the table at the moment,'' Mr Boyd said.

When asked whether the World Bar would be a tenant in the new building, he said ''that's one possible outcome''.

''It's not set in stone.''

He said there was no definite time frame for a new building's construction.

The fire started in the Fat Badgers Pizza kitchen on the ground floor and was caused by thermostat capillary tubes on a deep fat vat fryer not being submerged in oil, thus not being able to control the temperature of the oil.

A staff member at the pizza restaurant tried to put out the fire with a borrowed extinguisher from the World Bar, as the restaurant had used its extinguishers to put out a fire three days earlier. When this appeared to aggravate the fire, a fire blanket was used, also unsuccessfully. The fire spread upstairs to the nightclub via a fume-extracting system.

After being left in its burnt-out state since May, the building was demolished in November as it was considered ''damaged beyond repair'', the application said.

The application asked that the activities which had been on the site before the fire be confirmed.

Before the fire, the World Bar, a licensed restaurant, bar and nightclub, occupied the first floor and part of the ground floor, while the remaining ground floor was divided into three tenancies. One was used for storage by World Bar. The others were for Quest, an adventure sports equipment retailing and hiring company, and Fat Badgers Pizza Bar and Restaurant.

The World Bar was first established on the site in 1996 and was progressively developed to include a restaurant, two separate bars, a patio and dance floor.

A council spokesman said an existing use rights certificate could be applied for when an activity or building was once a permitted activity, but subsequently a rule in a district plan had come in, meaning a resource consent was now required.

Boydcorp Finance Ltd has applied to the council for an existing use certificate on the basis that when the building was constructed it was a permitted activity.

The existing use right can only be used if the proposed building and activities are the same or similar in scale, character and intensity.

Boydcorp Finance Ltd would need to apply for a resource consent for any building it wished to construct that did not comply with the existing use certificate.