The general manager of The Cellar chain of liquor stores, Darren Pearson, has submitted an objection to Dan Murphy’s DA.
The general manager of The Cellar chain of liquor stores, Darren Pearson, has submitted an objection to Dan Murphy’s DA.

Dan Murphy moves in on Byron

LIQUOR giant Dan Murphy’s has confirmed its plans to open a large outlet in Byron Bay underneath the Dendy Byron cinemas.

Woolworths has confirmed a Development Application by Gold Coast construction company Anzura Holdings Pty Ltd, lodged with the Byron Shire Council before Christmas, shows plans for redevelopment of individual shops under the cinema to accommodate the super store.

Dan Murphy’s will extend along the entire length of the southern boundary of the Woolies car park, swallowing up popular coffee shop Espresso Head, a shoe repair outlet and a handmade chocolate shop, taking up 1,000 square metres of space.

Woolworths spokesman, Benedict Brook, said two separate applications needed approval before the liquor store could go ahead.

Council must first approve the DA on planning grounds, and then a liquor licence application before the Licensing Court of New South Wales must also be granted.

Opponents of the DA said there would be traffic chaos in the car park, with large semi-trailers reversing into the store’s loading dock.

Long time Byron Bay publican and bottle shop owner, Tom Mooney, said lack of car parking was his biggest concern.

“You’ve already got a supermarket, a cinema and restaurants and shops,” Mr Mooney said, “and now they’re going to put a massive great liquor store there.

“Council should be able to refuse the application on the grounds of not enough car parking and the social and community impact.”

The Cellar general manager Darren Pearson is concerned about the location of the store.

“The area under the cinema is a popular teenage hangout,” Mr Pearson said.

“Byron Bay already had an underage drinking problem and the kids will have to walk past the liquor store to get inside the cinema.”

The scale of the outlet also concerns him.

“Seven small shops will be closed to make way for the super-store, and according to the DA all of the glass shopfronts along Jonson Street will be bricked up,” Mr Pearson said.

Byron Bay has higher risk drinking behaviour in 12 to 17 year olds than the State average and one of the highest number of drink driving convictions in NSW.

On weekends the number of alcohol-fuelled assaults is three times the State average.

About 35 new jobs will be created at Dan Murphy’s if the DA is approved, but if it goes ahead The Cellar in Woolworths’ plaza will have to close down.

“I may have to tell 15 staff members that their jobs are no longer there,” Mr Pearson said.

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