Balmain Leagues Club set for apartment future

The old Balmain Leagues Club site in Rozelle has been derelict since 2009.

Shanghai-based property developer Heworth has submitted a $135.3 million development application for the old Balmain Leagues Club even though the NSW government is looking to compulsorily acquire the site for a major infrastructure project.

Heworth plans to develop 173 apartments across three buildings on the 152 Victoria Rsdd site in Sydney’s inner west as well as commercial floor space, according to plans lodged with Inner West Council.

Supreme Court judge David Hammerschlag rejected the government’s compulsory acquisition of a large parcel of land owned by another property developer, Desane, near the proposed Rozelle interchange earlier this week.

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Desane was originally offered $20 million for the site and had been locked in dispute with the NSW government for months. Desane, which wanted to develop residential apartments on the site, had sought more than $100 million in compensation from the NSW government.

Justice Hammerschlag said the Roads and Maritime Service’s quest to buy property ‘‘cheap and quick’’ to minimise compensation to property owners was an important factor in his decision.

Desane’s lawyer Stewart Levitt of Levitt Robinson claimed the decision opened the way for owners whose properties had been acquired to argue that they should be compensated for loss of opportunity, relying on Justice Hammerschlag’s findings that the Roads and Maritime Services had used an invalid form.

Heworth managing director Brian Hood says there has been early discussions with residents, businesses and MPs regarding the developer’s plans for the former Balmain Leagues Club site.

He says the centrepiece of the site will be the return of Balmain Leagues Club, with Heworth proposing a new modern facility.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.