Inner West Council Wins against Balmain Leagues Overdevelopment

Inner West Council has this morning won a long battle against the overdevelopment of the Balmain Leagues Club Site, with an appeal by Rozelle Village dismissed on all grounds by the NSW Land and Environment Court.

More importantly, it found that the development failed to promote the long term viability of the Balmain Leagues Club on the site for the benefit of the local community.

Interim General Manager Rik Hart said that Council had fought to deliver a better outcome for the community and the club for years.

“Council’s top priority was always the return of the Balmain Leagues Club to Rozelle,” he said.

“A new home for the Club was one of the cornerstones of the rezoning of the site, first approved in 2008.

“Council tendered Court documents raising concerns about the ability of Balmain Leagues Club to enter into the lease with the owner given its financial position. It owes $11 million to the owner.

“Council fought for the Tigers to be offered a home at an affordable rent, however the developer insisted on holding them to a commercial lease with a lower floor space than was permitted by the planning controls.”

Mr Hart said the Court would not normally concern itself with the user (Balmain Leagues Club) of a development proposal.

“But in this case it did because of the way the planning controls were prepared and the requirement to promote the long term viability of the Balmain Leagues Club on the site,” he said.

“The developer has constantly attempted to make Council responsible for the future of the Leagues Club.

“However, when it came down to it they did not provide the required security for the Club.”

The Court was not satisfied that the proposal complied with the objectives in site specific local environment plan, urban design, amenity, integration, and transition with existing development and street activation, economic impacts, traffic impacts, adequacy of solar access and cross ventilation.

The proponent now has an option to lodge a new application for the site.

For a background of the application, including a timeline of various DAs and refusals by authorities such as the Joint Regional Planning Panel and the Planning Assessment Commission, please go to

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Page last updated: 03 Jun 2022