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Victory For Residents Over Brothel

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 5 NZPA - Resource consent given to a Wellington brothel has been quashed by the High Court in a victory for neighbours.

Mt Victoria Residents Association took legal action against Wellington City Council after it granted resource consent for The Lovely Lilly brothel on Pirie St to increase its number of sex workers from three to five in 2007.

Residents were concerned about the brothel's close proximity to a playground, kindergarten and primary school as well as being on a major walking route to two secondary schools in the area.

They took the case to the High Court in Wellington on Monday and in a judgment released today Justice Robert Dobson said the council had failed to recognise a section of the Prostitution Reform Act.

This stated that local authorities must consider whether the brothel was likely to cause nuisance, serious offence or was incompatible with the existing character or use of the area, when it gave resource consent to the brothel to expand its numbers.

The council also acted unlawfully when it did not notify the public of the resource consent application made by the brothel's owner Li Dan, Justice Dobson said.

He ordered the resource consent quashed, forcing the brothel to reduce its workforce.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said tonight the council would be reviewing the decision as a matter of urgency.

Lobby group Family First praised the court ruling.

National director Bob McCoskrie said residents had complained of illegally parked cars, intimidating men, a client sleeping in his car, and the brothel being busiest during the middle of the day.

The ruling was a "victory for families who have been victimised by the effects of the decriminalisation of prostitution", Mr McCoskrie said.

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