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Pyrmont rallies against proposed brothel

The location of the proposed brothel at 200 Harris St in Pyrmont

Pyrmont residents and office workers are up in arms over the proposal to open a brothel at 200 Harris St.

Members of the Pyrmont Community Group have been campaigning against the brothel and have received a groundswell of support with a petition reaching nearly 400 signatures.

The group argues that the locality of the proposed brothel is an area already serviced by several similar establishments and the proposal contravenes Council planning guidelines as it is adjacent to 198 Harris St, which is zoned for residential development.

“This is a really close community,” said Convenor of the Pyrmont Community Group, Jill McKay. “We just don’t feel another brothel is conducive to a good community.”

The rear entrance of the proposed brothel on Paternoster Row is only three doors down from an existing brothel at 121 Pyrmont St.

“Our office is next door to the proposed brothel and there’s also a brothel right across the road from us,” said Ms McKay. “We’ve been harassed at night by guys looking for the brothel.

“To have another brothel within 70 metres and we’re sandwiched between the two. It really concerns us for our safety.”

Another concern for local residents is that a childcare centre operates only doors down from the proposed brothel. Parents already have to walk their children past one brothel on their way to the centre on Paternoster Row.

Jean Stuart from the Pyrmont Community Group said: “I think it’s an unsuitable use of the buildings when we have so few retail opportunities on Harris St and so it will impact on resident amenity.

“I mean, people don’t want it. That’s the village hub and it’s most unsuitable.”

Ms Stewart was one of the successful campaigners against the proposed brothel at 1 Union St in 2011. At that time the developer withdrew their development application due to the community outcry.

The Pyrmont Community Group has submitted several letters to the City of Sydney Council, calling for the DA proposal to be addressed at the next Council meeting.

Responding to the letters, Council made moves to ensure that the developer displayed the DA notification on the premises.

However, a spokesperson for the City of Sydney said that Council cannot comment on development applications under assessment.

The planning firm that submitted the development proposal is Turnbull Planning.

“The matter is before Council and it’s up for determination,” said Director of Turnbull Planning, Peter Le Bas. “It satisfies the planning criteria, so really that’s the start and finish of it.”

Submissions for the DA proposal closed on Thursday, October 3.

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