Bloody NIMBYs work to wreck plans for new RSA

Only the most miserable person would object to the construction of a new RSA, but that is what has happened in Christchurch.

Christchurch war veterans are battling to drink at their new RSA because neighbours believe they could be a “noise nuisance”.

The Returned Services’ Association, due to re-open on Armagh St next month, applied for a liquor on-licence to serve alcohol from 8am to 1am, seven days a week. Proceeds from drink sales would supplement their veterans’ welfare trust.

Several neighbours opposed the application, including two apartment building body corporates.

RSA president Pete Dawson said neighbours had the right to object, but it was frustrating after 95 years of “exemplary” behaviour on the site. About 75 per cent of the RSA’s 1100 members were war veterans. More than 200 were more than 90 years old.?

“We’ve never been bad boys,” Dawson said. “They’re saying we’re a noise nuisance. I think the last time there was a big party outside the RSA was V-J day at the end of World War Two.”

The RSA convinced two opponents to withdraw their opposition in exchange for assurances on how the RSA would operate.

One, a body corporate from an under-construction apartment building across the street, refused to back down and the RSA posted comments about the resistance on Facebook. That group withdrew its opposition yesterday, after the RSA agreed to change its proposed bar closing time to midnight from Monday to Wednesday and on Sundays. One absentee owner from the apartment next door still stands in the way.

RSA members were “quite disappointed” by the opposition, Dawson said.

“It’s a bit of a blow below the belt,” he said. “We don’t need this. It’s a huge year for the RSA. We have our centenary, we’ve been closed for four years.”

It isn’t a night club, it is some old soldiers enjoying a tipple before tumbling home. It is the least we can allow them to do after service in the uniform of this nation.

Unfortunately there are some real miserable pricks out there, ones who enjoy the freedoms these veterans fought for.