Adult shop overload in Port Macquarie

OPPOSITION is building momentum to an adult store planned in the main street opposite a youth centre.

The adult store is proposed in an inappropriate location, opponents believe.

The company behind the Flirt Adult Store proposal said the restricted premises development application followed a two-year search and the Horton Street location represented a good opportunity.

But community opposition is gathering pace.

The newly opened Port Macquarie Youth Hub will lodge a formal objection with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

Port Macquarie Youth Hub manager Michael Gilmour said the adult store, if approved, would be directly across the road from the youth centre.

“It’s not a suitable or desirable influence on the young people frequenting the centre,” he said.

“The Port Macquarie Youth Hub focuses on youth and family friendly activities.

“It is designed where parents can feel safe their children are being given the right influence.”

Karen Packer’s business Dancing Fabrics would neighbour the adult store if the proposal went ahead.

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SHE said a lot of children used her business as well as the youth centre across the street.

Mrs Packer believes the highly visible main street location is simply the wrong place for an adult store.

“Horton Street is an introduction to our tourist town,” she said.

Mrs Packer said the general public needed to be aware of the proposal and she encouraged people to lodge submissions with the council.

The development application documentation said the proposal would have no adverse impact on the locality.

The proponent, JRO Group, has operated a restricted premises known as Loveplus Adult Store in Port Macquarie since 2008. JRO Group company director Jeff Oliver said the company was responsible and accountable.

“We are not going to be that prominent in the streetscape,” he said. Mr Oliver said customers were looking for discretion. The inside of the shop would not be visible from the street. The restricted premises classification limits entry to people older than 18.

The council’s development and environment director Matt Rogers said the development application for an adult shop at 135 Horton Street was permissible under “Zone B3 commercial core of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Local Environment Plan (2011)”.

He said there were no specific provisions in the Local Environment Plan about the locations of a retail store of this kind. 

“The concerns of residents and other business owners will be taken into account by the Development Assessment Panel when it considers this application,” Mr Rogers said.

There is one other adult shop in Port Macquarie, and this new proposal would take the number to three stores. 

The development application is available at the council.

Submissions should be addressed to the general manager, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, PO Box 84, Port Macquarie NSW, 2444 or emailed to council@pmhc.nsw.gov.au by December 7.

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