SUTHERLAND Shire Council voted this week to allow a liquor store to open next to Kirrawee High School, despite objections from the community and school principal.
Police were concerned the liquor store could attract young people.
But the council ignored the concerns and approved the application for a liquor outlet in Putland Close.
The council placed several conditions on the approval, including installation of a closed-circuit TV system, training staff in the responsible service of alcohol and declaration of an alcohol-free zone near shops in Putland Close.
But the matter will come back to the next council meeting for further consideration after councillors Phil Blight, George Capsis and Lorraine Kelly lodged a rescission motion.
The council approved a separate application for extended operating hours and outdoor seating at a pizza shop in the same street, which concerned residents.
The council altered the pizza shop’s hours from 8am to 9am Monday to Friday after the high school principal opposed it opening before school.
The council’s staff recommended the liquor store be approved; this was backed by the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel.
Cr Blight wanted the liquor store application refused. He said it was inappropriate for the area, especially as it adjoined the high school.
‘‘There is a lot of concern in the community about this. The application is for a liquor store that is adjoining the high school and surrounded by homes,’’ he said.
‘‘It is not a location where you would expect a liquor store to be located.’’
Cr Peter Towell warned that older students could buy alcohol for younger students.
‘‘We do not want to create the temptation and the antisocial behaviour that goes with it,’’ he said.
‘‘Exposing school children to the temptations of alcohol is probably not the best example we can set.’’
Cr Craig McCallum said Grays Point, Woronora and Illawong had liquor stores and there were no problems.
‘‘These are people selling a restricted product that is highly supervised,’’ he said.
Cr Steve Simpson moved approval.
‘‘We have a business where someone wants to create jobs and make a living,’’ he said.
But Cr Kent Johns said: ‘‘I know alcohol is a problem but refusing a small businessman does not solve the problem. There is no planning precedent to oppose this.’’
Do you agree with the council's decision to allow a liquor store?