The revived Balmain Tigers club site was expected to include a village square. Picture: Scott Carver

The derelict former Balmain Leagues Club will continue to stand for a little longer as the site owner attempts to add extra height and density to its existing plans.

Heworth has informed Sydney’s Inner West Council that it will apply to the NSW government for a 30 per cent density bonus on the site rather than commence demolition of the decaying site that has been vacant for 15 years. 

Last year, the NSW government introduced new regulation to allow density bonus for developments that include 15 per cent affordable housing to be maintained for 15 years.

Heworth has also commenced legal proceedings against Transport for NSW. It is seeking compensation for unpaid rent and financial damages after it flagged in 2018 that the state government at the time would need to acquire the site to make way for the Western Harbour Tunnel. Those plans were then dumped by Transport for NSW in 2022.

Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne has described the delay as “frustrating”.

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

“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 delays come off the back of Heworth’s unveiling last April that it was gearing up to finally begin construction of its $135 million 12-storey development that would include a new Wests Tigers Leagues Club. The plan was given the green light back in September 2020.

Heworth head of property Chris Walsh previously said the developer was excited to deliver a new mixed-use haven for Sydney’s inner-west.

“It’s going to significantly enhance Rozelle, provide new much-needed amenity and become a major community meeting place and destination,” he said.

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