Illegal brothel owner fined

An illegal brothel owner has been fined $8000 for operating out of Christchurch city-centre houses without consent.

The brothel was found guilty in the Environment Court of using more of a residential building than was permitted in the operation of a business, operating for more hours than allowed in a week, operating at times that were not permitted, generating too much traffic, and not having enough parking space.

Planning committee chairwoman Sue Wells said the brothel was operating in the front of three townhouses in Churchill St, central Christchurch, without a resource consent.

The council first became aware of its existence after a neighbour complained.

At the time of the complaint, the council had urged the owner to either apply for consent to operate the brothel, or to close it.

The owner also received two infringement notices and an abatement notice.

Wells said neighbours were concerned about the activity the brothel was generating in the street and the owner had shown no regard for the city plan and the legislation.

"You can't just open a brothel in the suburbs.

"You need a resource consent, which we told them repeatedly to get before we took them to court," she said.

The brothel no longer operates out of the site in Churchill St.

The council is developing a bylaw that would restrict brothel locations and control signage advertising commercial sexual services.

The Press