HARARE – Harare City Council has begun to reject the change of use of residential properties into lodges after complaints that the houses are being used as brothels.
This comes as council is receiving more than 10 applications of change of use every month.
Acting director of works Priscilla Charumbira said council had noticed that more residential properties had begun to apply for use of houses as lodges, a move which neighbours were rejecting.
According to environmental committee minutes, lodges will no longer be permitted in closes, where developments of flats will be located and if they fail to provide a need for the service in the area.
She said most recently a property in the Hatfield/Waterfalls area had their application rejected due to countless objections from residents.
“The issue of public need had not been demonstrated. It was also noted by the local district officer that there were a lot of such facilities in the area. The application received five objections to the establishment of this use in the neighbourhood and the reasons raised were very valid and needed to be considered,” she said.
The concern by Harare comes as Bulawayo council is also facing a similar problem of an influx in brothels in the city. A snap survey revealed that numerous town houses in downtown Bulawayo had been converted into ‘‘lodges’’ as owners have begun capitalising on the seemingly-lucrative business.