Another bottle store for Fish Hoek

The Shoprite LiquorShop opposite Shoprite in Fish Hoek.

The signage for the Shoprite LiquorShop in Fish Hoek is up, and the formerly dry town’s second liquor store is due to open its doors soon.

The Liquor Licensing Tribunal (LLT) approved its licence earlier this year.

Fish Hoek had been a dry town for 200 years when the Pick n Pay bottle store opened on Tuesday June 4 last year.

Shoprite said confirmation of an opening date for the new outlet would happen after a final inspection of the premises.

Meanwhile, the LLT approved Spar’s liquor licence last month on condition the City of Cape Town granted the store a land-use departure.

That application was heard by the Municipal Planning Tribunal (MPT) on Tuesday December 8 and was approved.

Dave Daniels, chairperson of the MPT, said objectors would have an opportunity to appeal.

A City report to the MPT recommended it approve the application, saying it is compatible with surrounding land uses; will not change the area’s character or threaten surrounding properties as

the store will be in a shopping centre; will have a positive socio-economic impact; and will not impact the safety, health and well-being of the community.

The premises is zoned for Local Business Zone 2 (LB2), which allows the sale of alcoholic beverages with consent.

There are currently 169 Tops stores in the Western and Northern Cape according to Spar’s national spokesman, Conway Nesbitt.

According to the City’s report, a copy of the land-use application was given to surrounding residents on June 30 and to community organisations, such as the Fish Hoek Valley Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (FHVRRA) on June 29. Ward councillor Aimee Kuhl was also notified.

There were, the report notes, two objections, including one from the FHVRRA.

The FHVRRA says a liquor store at Valyland will lower the surrounding property values as Fish Hoek has been traditionally dry and that the bottle store will be located too close to a retirement

village, primary schools, a pre-primary and a high school, and there is no need for another liquor outlet in Fish Hoek.

Valyland Spar co-owner Chris Dare said they were finalising all legal requirements and procedures as well as their building and shop-fitting/design.

“We expect to start the actual building works in January. The estimated opening time would then be around March/April next year,” he said.

Fish Hoek resident Donald Moore, who has been advocating to keep Fish Hoek dry, said his views and those of like-minded people had fallen on deaf ears.

He said there was “loads of evidence” of the harm done by alcohol of which the White Paper of the Western Cape Government on Alcohol Harms Reduction is the most prominent.

“It is all tabulated there, but the authorities, having gathered the evidence, have done nothing to adjust policy to take account of the evidence they have. The money that is derived from the sale of miserable liquor has far too loud a voice, and the liquor industry seems to be the only voice that is heard,” he said.

Ms Kuhl said she did not object to the application as the Pick n Pay bottle store in The Arcade had set a precedent, and it was not fair to deny Spar the same economic opportunity as Pick n Pay.

“I did not take the decision lightly, and it is unfortunate that we as a community lost the appeal for the bottle store at Pick n Pay, but I cannot deny another business that economic opportunity. I made sure that I specified that added security must be on site for the Spar application to manage any potential problems,” she said.

Fish Hoek Primary School principal Neill Kinkead-Weekes said that prior to the application, the owners of Spar had met with him and Fish Hoek High School principal Gavin Fish to discuss various details, including security measures.

He said they had responded to Spar in writing with recommendations.

Catherine Pitt, centre manager at the Joyce Chevalier Centre, said they had communication from the City at the time of the application but they did not object to it.

Ms Pitt said the Pick n Pay bottle store in The Arcade had not attracted “bad elements” as had been feared and she believed neither would the bottle store at Spar. The centre would have increased security, which would benefit the community, she said.