A Helping Hand for Christchurch Coffee Shop

A Christchurch coffee outlet is taking a shot at remaining open.

Upshot Coffee co-owners Megan Geels and Justin Good submitted a resource consent application last week to keep the Heathcote shop trading beyond the end of the month.

They have been working with a Resource Management Act lawyer and planner on the application.

David Fox, a Redcliffs resident and semi-retired land development consultant, paid $10,000 to help with Geels and Good's application.

Fox said Upshot Coffee is an iconic site, with personality and charm loved by the Heathcote community. More than 2000 people have signed a petition to keep it open.

Good believes they have a good chance for the consent to be granted, but the site will have to meet building codes.

Whilst they wait for the resource consent, Good and Geels hope to get an extension of non-enforcement, which they are currently negotiating for.

The Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act allowed businesses displaced by the February 2011 earthquakes to operate out of temporary homes. Upshot Coffee is one such business operating with a temporary accommodation permit. However, the act expired in June and the cafe's licence with it.

The city council compliance team agreed to a non-enforcement until 30 September, allowing the coffee shop to operate until the end of the month.

Only 80 of the 950 businesses operating on temporary accommodation permits have applied for new resource consents, said city council head of resource consents John Higgins.

Since 2005 Upshot Coffee has been operating in Heathcote; residents call it their community hub and want it to stay.