A BROTHEL offering round-the-clock sex services has been approved by the Land and Environment Court for Muswellbrook’s main street after the council previously rejected the proposal.
The court recently approved a number of alterations to be made to 200 Bridge Street including new shower facilities, demolishing a carport to provide off-street parking and construction of a ramp for disabled access.
It was intended that the brothel will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The council rejected the development last year claiming that it was an unsuitable site for a brothel for a number of reasons, including that it would increase noise in the area and was in an area frequented by children.
Commissioner Graham Brown ruled that the site was suitable, noting that a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre was already established next door.
A number of residents raised their concerns at a site visit earlier this year, but Commissioner Brown said, ‘‘I am satisfied that the additional concerns raised by the residents on site do not warrant the refusal of the application’’.
‘‘I do not accept that the use will be prominent or obvious to anyone without a prior knowledge of its existence,’’ Commissioner Brown said.
‘‘While I accept that some people may be offended by the existence of a brothel there was also no compelling evidence to suggest that the use would devalue properties and businesses in the vicinity or attract undesirable people to the area to the point where the application should be refused for these reasons.’’
It is believed to be Muswellbrook’s first legal brothel.
The company behind the development previously stated that after conducting inquiries they believed sex workers were operating out of Muswellbrook motels, creating demand for a legal premises.