A LIQUOR store proposal for Manning Street has Kiama High School parents concerned.
The application, considered by Kiama Municipal Council last night, proposed a liquor store at the site of the former newsagency.
Applicant Sal Saleh, who also owns the general store, said the proposal had been largely welcomed by the community.
He said several customers signed a petition in its favour.
But at the Kiama High School P&C's first meeting of the year last Tuesday, president Donna Flanagan said several parents voiced their concern about the sale of alcohol around the corner from the school.
"There was a hold-up in this area not long ago and the potential for this to happen when school is either starting or finishing for the day is of real concern," she said.
Mrs Flanagan said some students frequented the takeaway shop next to the proposed liquor store and could be tempted to buy alcohol during school hours.
"Year 12 have a flexible timetable where some students have a break of a few hours during the day, and could have the ability to purchase alcohol during school hours, as some students are over the age of 18," she said.
"They could then pass this alcohol onto other students at legal drinking age or under."
Kiama High School acting principal Darrell Shephard said more than 20 parents had contacted him, concerned about the proposal.
Kiama councillor Dennis Seage shared their concerns and requested the report be put to the council last night.
"It's in the middle of a school zone and that's an inappropriate place for a bottle shop," he said.
Council staff recommended the proposal be approved, saying the development's small scale and "physical detachment" from the school would have minimal social impact.
"The fact that the sale of liquor to under-aged persons and the secondary selling of liquor are illegal activities and readily policed, and the lack of distinctive public gathering places in near proximity, reinforce this view," the report to councillors said.
"Whilst this proposed outlet would be the closest in a distance sense from the local high school, under-aged persons are regularly exposed to liquor outlets in their day-to-day activities."
However, the report also said the store's glass-panelled frontage could be a target for ram-raiding and would need measures, such as bollards to prevent such an incident.
No result was known at the time of publication.