Friday, March 1, 2024

Balmain Leagues Club stalled redevelopment a ‘planning fiasco’ claims council

Inner West Council Mayor, Darcy Byrne says a new delay in the development of the “cursed” Balmain Leagues Club site is frustrating news.

The Council has been informed by the owner of the site, Heworth, that they will not be commencing an approved 12-storey mixed-use development and will instead apply to the NSW Government for a 30% density bonus on the site.

“This derelict building is a dangerous eyesore that should have been knocked down many years ago,” said Mayor Byrne (pictured).

Heworth has an approval for the demolition of the Leagues Club and construction of a 12-storey development including a new Wests Tigers Leagues Club.

“Heworth has also commenced legal proceedings against Transport for NSW seeking compensation for the former Government’s decision to compulsorily acquire the site, which they subsequently reneged on and reversed after two years of delays,” the Mayor said.

“There have been repeated large-scale fires at the Leagues Club site which represent an ongoing threat to public safety.

“Heworth and TfNSW have failed our community by continually refusing to demolish this blight on the Rozelle neighbourhood.

“The planning instrument Heworth are seeking to make use of to increase the scale of their development by 30% is a new regulation introduced by the NSW Government last year.”

The density bonus is allowed for developments that include 15% affordable housing to be maintained for 15 years.

“Perhaps the Balmain Leagues Club site is cursed, this planning fiasco has dragged on for far too long.”

“Heworth will claim that despite already having approval for a large-scale development, which they proposed, they need to increase the scale to achieve financial viability.

“The truth is there’s no excuse for failing to demolish this dangerous derelict building right now.

“The transport agency is doing yet another disservice to our local community by failing to come to a settlement with Heworth.

“It seems obvious that when a government agency acquires a private property and then reneges on the process after two years, some compensation should be paid.

“Transport for NSW should get on with fixing this mess right now,” said Mayor Byrne.

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