A BROTHEL could be up and running at 35 Cranbrook Road, in the Batemans Bay industrial area, by early next year.
An application for the development, which would include a reception area, two waiting rooms and three service suites, was lodged with Eurobodalla Shire Council last week.
Applicant Rob McCloskey is proposing four staff members, including security personnel, would run the establishment between 9pm and 5am daily.
According to council’s development and natural resources group manager Lindsay Usher, the State Government requires that local government provide for brothels in appropriate areas via their planning controls.
“As a result, the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Local Environment Plan makes provision for brothels in certain locations within the shire,” he said.
“The use proposed by the development application is permissible in the industrial zone.”
However, Mr Usher said the application’s approval would be dependent on its compliance with the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan 1999 (LEP), the Eurobodalla Development Control Plan Industrial Development Guidelines and other State legislation.
“Council will assess the application in accordance with the appropriate requirements and, in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, will determine the application on merit. The process will include consideration of any issues raised during the exhibition period and as a result of the referral to NSW Police,” he said.
In recent years Batemans Bay Anglican minister Ian Lambert has spoken out against the establishment of a brothel in the town.
“Prostitution is demeaning to women and destructive to marriages,” he said.
“My position has not changed since the last application was made to council, when it was proposed to establish a brothel within sight of a major children’s sporting and recreation venue.”
And while this time around Rev Lambert admits there are no local government grounds to prevent the business from operating, he was quick to point out that it did not preclude the community from objecting on the basis that the industry would further exacerbate issues of crime, drug-taking and abuse against women.
“Such a business will not bring anything to improve the standards of life in the community,” he said.
“The church and its caring agencies like St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army and Anglicare are concerned about the social challenges that face this town such as domestic violence, drug abuse, homelessness and loneliness. A brothel would simply increase the social outfall.”
The development application is on exhibition for public comment for 14 days from today.