ROZELLE Residents have had to endure a decade of proposals for redevelopment of the former Balmain Leagues Club site …
now again to be drawn out …
with a Council approved apartment development to be interrupted by a compulsory acquisition for a dive site for the Western Harbour Tunnel!
AND if the compulsory acquisition proceeds the Tigers would be left without a cent of compensation!
State Government to squash long-awaited redevelopment of Balmain Leagues Club Rozelle
Just after the Inner West Council approved amended plans for the long-awaited redevelopment for the Balmain Leagues Club, the State Government has revealed it would also like to use the land as a “dive site” for WestConnex.
The future of the long-awaited redevelopment of the Balmain Leagues Club is once again up in the air.
Shortly after the Inner West Council approved amended plans for its construction at a meeting on Tuesday, the State Government revealed it was considering using the site as an excavation entryway or “dive site” for the Western Harbour Tunnel.
This would mean the site’s redevelopment would not go forward.
Heworth took ownership of the Victoria Road block in March 2018 and just months after, in May, a $135 million proposal to redevelop the site was submitted to the council.
The development application included the construction of 173 apartments, shops and a new 3010sq m Balmain Leagues Club.
It went before the Inner West Council on Tuesday and was approved by the Development Control Plan.
The next step for Heworth is to submit a revised development application, which will be determined by a state government panel.
Heworth development director Brian Hood said the company was amending the site’s DA for submission to council by the end of July, adding their legal advice was not to hesitate with their plans.
“We can’t stop them … (but) our plan is to keep moving forward to get the DA approved and replace what is there at the moment, which isn’t much,” he said.
“The move value we add to the site, the more money (the state government) have to pay.”
The state government plans have since come under fire from Inner West Council Mayor Darcy Byrne.
“This has been a long drawn out saga, but with revised plans now approved there is no impediment from council to the Tigers returning to their spiritual home,” Cr Byrne said.
“The very survival of the Tigers depends on preventing the state government from snatching this site.
*“The compulsory acquisition of the property would leave the Tigers without a cent of compensation.”
Cr Byrne has called on Wests Tigers chair Barry O’Farrell to intervene and stop the state government acquiring the site.
A previous court ruling required a Tigers Leagues club be included in the site’s redevelopment after the Balmain Leagues Club went into voluntary administration in 2018.
Earlier this year, Wests Ashfield took on the Balmain Leagues Club’s outstanding loan to the NRL. They are now in the process of amalgamating.
The amendments to the Development Control Plan, approved at the Inner West Council meeting this week, focused on reducing traffic to Victoria Rd, moving the massing of residents away from Waterloo St and reducing retail.
Cr Byrne said it represented “a reduction in impacts on residents”.
Council received 87 submissions opposing the plan.
A total of 88 per cent were related to the height and scale of the development as well as traffic, retail impacts and character.
However, prior to the council vote, Cr Byrne reminded councillors the state government had refused to rezone the site down to six- or eight-storeys.
Cr Byrne also said if the recommendations were not accepted, Roads and Maritime Services would be more likely to compulsorily acquire the site to build the Western Harbour Tunnel.
A spokesman for the RMS said: “Roads and Maritime has commenced discussions with the relevant parties on the potential temporary use of the former Balmain Leagues Club site to support the construction of Western Harbour Tunnel.”
The spokesman added they “commenced discussion with a number of parties” for potential temporary use for the Western Harbour Tunnel project.
Barry O’Farrell and the West Tigers declined to comment.