Council questions Chows' plan for markets
A plan by a pair of sex industry entrepreneurs to open markets on an empty lot has been questioned by Wellington City Council - which says it was never told of the venture.
The council has demanded a meeting with the Chow Group to discuss plans to open Capital Markets, a development with 42 indoor stalls and potentially a food market.
The section of land earmarked for the markets in Willis St has been hit by a series of legal setbacks since it was bought by Willis Street Parking, a company owned by rich-lister developers and brothel-owners John and Michael Chow.
The council has written to the Chows' representatives requesting more information about the advertised food market, which would require vendor licences and proof of hygiene standards.
The group applied successfully in August for a consent to clean up the site but there was no notice of intentions to start a market, council spokesman Richard MacLean said.
"We think it would be wise for them to come in and have a chat to us so we can avoid any problems if they are trying to start something up," he said.
"If this is going to be a permanent market where there is going to be permanent stalls there and stallholders selling food, there are certain standards they are going to have to meet."
The Chow Group's representatives told The Dominion Post they would meet the council and explain the food markets were not yet ready for permits.
However, advertisements currently being displayed at the disused site say the market and the outdoor food stalls will be open for summer.
Work at the site has faced several delays and has been halted since January 2011 after concerns about a heritage building that was demolished.
Contracting firm C & M Transport was also fined $10,000 after the demolition, for exposing a worker to asbestos, live electricity and falling objects.
Willis Street Parking was fined $24,000 for failing to keep an employee of its contractor safe, and the contractor - Concrete Drilling and Cutting - was also fined $20,000.
Vicki Chow, executive manager, said yesterday they had not settled on a date to launch the markets because of the council letter.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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