Outram wedding venue on-licence opposition shot down

An objection from the neighbours of a wedding and function venue near Outram against it getting an on-licence is of little relevance to the decision on whether it should be granted, the lawyer for the venue says.

The Currie Rd Residents and Friends Society says granting Grandview Gardens' application would undermine the objective of the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act - to minimise the harm caused by excessive or inappropriate consumption of alcohol.

However, the authorities have nothing but praise for the owners of the venue, Jo and Wayne Lindsay, and say their host responsibility and alcohol management documents are the most robust and impressive they have seen with a liquor licence application.

The venue has been operating without a licence since it started as a function centre in 2009.

In a report to the district licensing committee, which heard from Mrs Lindsay earlier this week, committee secretary Kevin Mechen said the Lindsays mistakenly thought they did not need a licence because they did not sell alcohol, but allowed people to consume it on their premises.

As soon as they were advised they needed a licence, they applied for and were granted special licences to cover bookings for the rest of the season, and applied for a full on-licence, he said.

The society has previously been concerned about noise, lights and other disruptions in Currie Rd from people using the venue.

Last year, it unsuccessfully opposed the Lindsays' appeal to the Environment Court over conditions of the venue's land use consent.

The society said granting an on-licence now would affect the amenity and good order of the road ''in a major way'' and the venue did not have in place the systems required to comply with the law.

But the Lindsays' lawyer, Bridget Irving, said the objection lacked detail, made allegations without evidence to back them up and seemed to be focused on matters controlled by the Resource Management Act, rather than the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act, which applied in this case.

Overall, the objection raised matters of only minor relevance to the district licensing committee in its decision and appeared to be attempting to relitigate matters already addressed in the Environment Court.

Any issues raised in the objection were already dealt with in the venue's host responsibility framework and other management systems, she said.

Mrs Lindsay said she and her husband took their responsibilities very seriously and strongly rejected a suggestion from the society, which had opposed their operation for some time, that they were not suitable to hold a licence.

''It is important to us that we actively promote a safe drinking culture.''

Police and the city council licensing inspector told the committee they were impressed with the premises, as well as extensive host responsibility, travel and noise management plans and had no issues with the application.

They confirmed there had been no complaints related to the venue reported to police or the council.

Although it initially indicated it would speak to its objection, the society did not appear at the hearing.

Committee chairman Colin Weatherall noted at the start of the hearing the society had challenged his impartiality because he was involved in hearings on the Grandview Gardens consent in 2009, but he said he felt that was long enough ago and was long before the society was formed.

The society had also requested the matter be referred directly to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority, which was at the district licensing committee's discretion, but he felt it was a matter of local importance and the district licensing committee should deal with it.

The committee has 28 days to make its decision.

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