Fears that extending the licencing hours of a Snells Beach restaurant could lead to increased noise, disturbed sleep and extra traffic in a residential area were voiced at a district licencing committee hearing in Warkworth last week.
Fifteen people objected to Bayside Bistro’s application for a new on-licence that would see its licenced hours increase by an hour a day, from 8am to 10pm daily, up to 11pm.
There was some confusion expressed over current licensing hours, with several objectors under the impression that Bayside could only serve alcohol until 9pm. June Turner and Kevin McPherson, speaking on behalf of several residents in the Kokihi Lane and Schooner Avenue area, said that at a previous hearing there had been an agreement with Bayside’s former owners that alcohol wouldn’t be served past that time.
However, Auckland Council alcohol licensing inspector Mark Waite and Bayside owner Susan Vize said the actual licence originally issued in 2019 and renewed last November, allowed sales until 10pm. Furthermore, the building’s original resource consent already permitted Bayside to be open as a restaurant until 11pm.
Ms Vize said since taking over Bayside last November, evening dinners and events had become increasingly popular, so now that she was making her first permanent application for a full on licence, she wanted the option of staying open an extra hour, so staff did not have to rush diners lingering over a meal and a glass of wine.
She added that Bayside’s customers were predominantly local families and older people and she and her staff made strenuous efforts to prevent noise and disturbance.
Even the objectors conceded that they were happy with Bayside and how it was run, but it was the extension from 10pm to 11pm that was the cause of concern.
Panel chair Mark Goudie pointed out that, while previous decisions could be acknowledged, this was a brand new application by new applicants and could only be judged on its merits.
The hearing was told that neither Mark Waite, the Police or the Medical Officer of Health opposed the application.
A decision is expected once the licensing committee has discussed the application.