4 Nov 2012

High rise brothel gets planners' nod ahead of hearing

1:48 pm on 4 November 2012

Auckland Council planners have recommended resource consent be granted for a 15-storey building housing a brothel and nightclubs ahead of a public hearing on the proposed building.

The Chow Group plans to construct the multi-storey building in central Auckland which will contain restaurants, bars, nightclubs, a hotel and 13 brothel rooms.

The council has yet to give consent for the new building planned for a site opposite SkyCity Casino A public hearing will be held on 12 and 13 November.

Of the 221 public submissions received on the proposal all but one oppose the development, with many fearing it will destroy families and create a seedy central city.

A number of submitters also raised concerns about the demolition of a 19th Century heritage building that once stood on the site.

Two years ago, the Wellington-based Chow brothers were carrying out alterations to the former Aurora hotel when cracks started appearing in the walls.

Construction work stopped immediately and the council arranged an emergency demolition which took place within 24 hours.

Heart of the City spokesman Alex Swney says he is not opposed to the brothel being built but objects to the Chow Group constructing a high-rise complex where the three-storey heritage building once stood.

"We've lost a heritage building and gained a structure that's got very few redeeming features."

Mr Swney says the company is, in effect, being rewarded by being permitted to build a 15-storey structure with substantial extra revenue streams through additional letting opportunities.