AN opponent to the Byng Street Cafe and Local Store’s application to extend its liquor licence says her concerns about noise, late night foot traffic and impact on the area’s amenity should be heeded by the community, not just the business neighbours.
Nearby homeowner Sally Kay wants to use the opportunity to warn the community about future implications of food and wine businesses in residential areas.
“The larger and more important issue ... is whether we as a community think it is appropriate for liquor licenses to be granted in any residential area and, if so, under what circumstances,” she said.
“This is an opportunity to inform community understanding of how the development and licensing laws currently work, in particular, how a former sleepy corner shop on your local street can incrementally grow into a high volume restaurant or bar.”
Ms Kay owns a short-stay rental accommodation property close to the Byng Street cafe.
But cafe owner Jeremy Norris, who also owns a short-term accommodation property nearby, defended the application and said his request to trade until 10pm would benefit the area.
“I consider it to be an asset rather than a problem,” he said.
The licence would allow him to serve alcohol until 10pm Monday to Saturday and until 6pm on Sunday, but Mr Norris said he intended to open late Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights only.
He believes his expanding business would be a benefit to the area’s amenity and would be a drawcard for visitors who wanted to stay in nearby accommodation, including his or Ms Kay’s property.
He said he never intended to open a bar and had not been approached by concerned residents, other than Ms Kay, but welcomed any conversation about the business.
Orange has an expanding economy with an expanding CBD and while Mr Norris appreciates residents have legitimate concerns, it is inevitable that businesses like his, in residential areas, will continue to pop up.
He cited 1870 in March Street, Ferment and The Gladstone Hotel in Hill Street, as well as the Robin Hood Hotel in Burrendong Way.
Ms Kay said she supported the growth of the Orange economy and its food and wine industry, but worried what the future might hold.
“But I am also a strong supporter of maintaining our sense of community and the relative peace of residential neighbourhoods,” she said.
“I am concerned that as a community we need to get involved in understanding these issues whether it is on Byng Street or anywhere else.”
The application approval process takes about a month and if the licence is granted, Mr Norris hopes to open the restaurant for dinner by May.