The development of a new WESTS TIGERS CLUB in BALMAIN is pushing ahead, but its future is uncertain

YESTERDAY we were notified that there was barrier fencing erected to the frontage of homes on Victoria Road … downside of the club to the Iron Cove bridge!

HAS the NSW Govt snatched up the site for the Western Harbour Tunnel … and not tellin’? Land amalgamation and compulsory acquisition?

INNER WEST

The development of a new Wests Tigers club in Balmain is pushing ahead, but its future is uncertain

The developers of the former Balmain Leagues Club in Rozelle have submitted a new proposal for a Wests club but the State government might still snatch it up for the Western Harbour Tunnel.

Joanna Panagopoulos, Inner West Courier

August 30, 2019

Inside the derelict Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle, left derelict since 2009. Heworth have submitted a fresh development plan but the site may still be acquired by the State government for the Western Harbour Tunnel. Picture: John Appleyard
Inside the derelict Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle, left derelict since 2009. Heworth have submitted a fresh development plan but the site may still be acquired by the State government for the Western Harbour Tunnel. Picture: John Appleyard

Long-held plans for a new Leagues Club could be over

Poor turnout to save Tigers club in Balmain

The development of the former Balmain Leagues Club is roaring ahead but the State Government will still not say whether they will use the site in the construction of the Western Harbour Tunnel.

Developers Heworth submitted an amended development application for the former Balmain Leagues Club last week after a Development Control Plan was approved on June 25. If the council-supported amendments are accepted by the state government, the development will go ahead.

A $135 million proposal to redevelop the abandoned Victoria Road block will include 173 apartments, shops and a new 3010sq m Wests Club.

Concept image showing what the redeveloped Balmain Tigers Leagues Club will look like. Picture: Grant Leslie Photography
Concept image showing what the redeveloped Balmain Tigers Leagues Club will look like. Picture: Grant Leslie Photography
Drawn plans for the redevelopment of the Balmain Leagues Club site.
Drawn plans for the redevelopment of the Balmain Leagues Club site.

West’s Ashfield CEO Sam Cook said whether the club be called Wests Tigers or Balmain Leagues is a decision to be made with member-input at a later date.

Additionally, a date has been set for the historic merger between Wests Ashfield and Balmain Leagues club.

The clubs have called an extraordinary meeting at Balmain Town Hall on September 18 and West’s Ashfield Club on September 19, where the members of the respective clubs have been asked to vote on the amalgamation.

The Balmain Leagues Club has 12,000 members, while Wests Ashfield has 36,000 members.

If endorsed by the majority of members, Balmain will unite with Wests, and all stakeholders will exist under the umbrella ‘Wests’.

Inside the old Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle, left derelict since 2009. Picture: John Appleyard
Inside the old Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle, left derelict since 2009. Picture: John Appleyard

However, a spokesman from Transport for NSW gave the same response they did almost two months ago.

The spokesman said:

*“Transport for NSW has commenced discussions with a number of parties regarding the potential use of various sites to support the proposed Western Harbour Tunnel project.”

This includes the “temporary use” of the former Balmain Leagues Club during construction, the spokesman said.

Heworth Managing Director Brian Hood said: “We lodged an amended DA last week in line with the revised DCP.”

“(The State government) have been very quiet,” he said.

“Our advice remains, just keep going as though nothing’s happening.”

Managing Director of Heworth Brian Hood opens the gate to the Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle. Picture: John Appleyard
Managing Director of Heworth Brian Hood opens the gate to the Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle. Picture: John Appleyard

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne, who helped negotiate the agreement between Wests Ashfield and Balmain, is positive about the merger.

“The merger between both clubs will be a historic step that would unify all shareholders in Wests Tigers into the future,” he said

This includes a new home for the West Tigers Leagues Club in Balmain, which was supported by Heworth as a term of the proposed merger.

Although it won’t hold the Balmain name, it will keep a Wests presence in the area, and help fund junior Balmain Tigers Rugby League clubs.

*“(But) 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 home or cent of compensation,” Cr Byrne said.*

Wests Leagues Club at Ashfield. Picture: Annika Enderborg
Wests Leagues Club at Ashfield. Picture: Annika Enderborg

“We have done everything in our power to ensure the best outcome for the former Balmain Leagues Club, now it’s over to the State Government to do the right thing and cancel plans to acquire the site.”

#Only about 20 people turned up to a public meeting in July to try and stop the Balmain Leagues Club from becoming a tunnelling site

CAAN: # PERHAPS THIS IS A CONSEQUENCE OF YEARS OF OPPOSING THIS OVERDEVELOPMENT … HAS THE NSW GOVT DEPLETED THIS COMMUNITY OF ALL ITS ENERGY, LIFE … DRAINED THE LIVING LIFE OUT OF ‘EM?

SOURCE: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner-west/the-development-of-a-new-wests-tigers-club-in-balmain-is-pushing-ahead-but-its-future-is-uncertain/news-story/07f084315fffefcb3d44cae2087cf036

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