High-rise brothel won't be fast tracked

The black-toned glass building will feature two storeys of LED screens. Photo / Supplied
The black-toned glass building will feature two storeys of LED screens. Photo / Supplied

Auckland Council has declined a request to fast track the resource consent application for a 15-level city centre building, which would include a brothel, directly to the Environment Court.

Wellington developers John and Michael Chow want to build the tower on the site of the demolished Palace Hotel in Victoria St.

The plan is that the first two levels of the black-toned glass building will be blank and layered by a LED screen mesh facing Victoria St. This will carry graphic images for events such as a countdown to the New Year.

Property magnate Sir Robert Jones is among those who have already voiced opposition to the plan, with Robt Jones Holdings Auckland director Greg Loveridge saying the scale and look of the building on its northern face were objectionable.

"It will be 15 floors of concrete sheer wall so it won't look very nice.''

Robt Jones Holdings owns Telco House next to the site.

The historic Palace Hotel was demolished on Auckland Council orders in November 2010 after the Chow brothers' low-rise redevelopment left it unstable.

Heritage campaigner Alan Matson said the scale of the proposal had more than a minor effect on the formally recognised character of the adjacent 20th century buildings.

Auckland's Catholic leader Bishop Pat Dunn is also among opponents.

The council's hearings committee this morning reiterated an earlier decision for the application for the building to be heard before a panel of four independent commissioners.

Chairwoman Noelene Raffills said the request should be declined because there is no certainty the application would end up in the Environment Court and a direct referral would lead to "a less participatory process'' for a large number of lay submitters.

"It is a local issue regarding one building and should be heard as such.''

- APNZ

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