The article from CB’s above link…
Balmain Leagues Club: It’s now a sad and lonely ghost
January 20, 2016 10:40amNeil KeeneThe Daily Telegraph
THE former home of one of Australia’s most vaunted sporting clubs has been left to rot – literally – while arguments continue about the future of the site.
This year marks seven years since the Balmain Leagues Club was sold for $1 in exchange for its buyer inheriting the club’s $22million-plus debt.
But a series of shocking photos captured by Sydney photographer Brett Patman shows just how far the once-proud building has fallen into disrepair.
Squatters have taken up residence, floors are rotting from water damage and almost every wall has been covered in graffiti.
Meanwhile, the wrangling continues over what is to become of the site and who is to blame for its condition, with developer Ian Wright blaming Leichhardt Council, Mayor Darcy Byrne blaming Mr Wright and angry residents just wanting it all to come to a resolution they can live with.
Mr Wright and his Rozelle Village development company have tried and failed repeatedly to get the green light for large-scale development of the site, consisting of residential towers, shops and a new leagues club home.
But opponents shot down the initial 32-storey proposal, and several others that gradually decreased in height.
The current iteration consists of 135 apartments across a 12-storey tower and an eight-storey tower, the leagues club, a supermarket and 15 specialty shops.
Under the latest proposal, which is set for a NSW Land & Environment Court hearing in March, the leagues club would get the right to lease part of the site back for 45 years at market value.
“Everything that can be done is being done,” Mr Wright said yesterday, in relation to the building’s current state.
“We’ve got a perimeter fence around the entire site and we have four security patrols per night so there’s not much else we can do.”
Mr Wright claimed his current proposal was “fully compliant” with the council’s planning controls and should be approved.
But mayor Darby Byrne argued that approval should not be given until Mr Wright agreed to let the leagues club take up permanent residence at the site for minimal rent.
“Our primary objective, as has been promised by the developer all along, is to make sure the Balmain Tigers will have a permanent home in the heartland of Rozelle through this redevelopment,” he said.
“At the moment, that’s far from guaranteed.”
Balmain Leagues Club
“In terms of the building, I think it’s appalling that Rozelle Village has allowed it to become as dilapidated as it is. Balmain Tigers should never have been moved out of the building in the first place.”
Hundreds of people – many of them local residents and loyal Tigers fans – took to Mr Patman’s Lost Collective Facebook page, where he posted the photos on Saturday, to air their sadness and disgust at the site’s condition and about the ongoing development saga.
Rozelle Residents Action Group spokesman David Anderson said the block should never have been rezoned for such high-density development.
“There is overwhelming local opposition to the current proposal development due to its negative impacts,” he said.
“We are, however, supportive of a council initiated rezoning, with building heights of six and eight storeys and a substantially reduced retail component.”
There was a bit in the TWT about it as well.
Balmain Tigers welcome future guarantee
Published January 19, 2016 | By admin
The Balmain Tigers Football Club has welcomed this week’s news that the Rozelle Village will not end the club’s lease at the vacant, destitute Balmain Leagues Club site on Victoria Road, Rozelle.
Spokesperson Ian Wright from Pacific Investments has advised the club the agreement to lease ‘will not be terminated’ and that ‘we have waived all of our rights in that regard’.
“I can also advise that this guarantees the future of the Tigers at that site,” he said.
A proposal to develop the site with a new Leagues Club, residential apartments, a new shopping plaza is currently before the NSW Land and Environment Court and the next court hearings are expected to be heard from March 29 until April 1.
Backed by the latest guarantee, Balmain Tigers spokesman Dr Leslie Glen wants Leichhardt Council, the local community and fans to be rest assured about the club’s financial future.
“We appreciate what Mr Wright has told us and we’re very optimistic about how we can now move forward,” Balmain Tigers spokesman Dr Glen said.
“We’re trading pretty well at the moment and can meet our financial obligations.
“This decision to extend our lease gives us a further opportunity to show we are viable.”
Dr Glen can even see a day when a viable and thriving Balmain Tigers club will be a community partner with the Council.
“We all have a strong community spirit and we certainly want to support the community and host community events,” he said.
With the development currently in court, Leichhardt Council has declined to comment on the development proposal on the grounds it is not the consent authority.
Mr Wright said he is aware of the Council’s opinion.
“Nonetheless, the onus is now on Leichhardt Council to show some courage and leadership to reverse their position on this fully compliant DA and bring an end to the court proceedings,” he said.
Tigers fans can do their bit to Bring the Tigers home by writing to Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne www.leichhardt.nsw.gov.au with your views.
One Eyed Tiger
New hope for Balmain Tigers Leagues Club!
Tell Leichhardt Council We want their support!
Balmain Tigers fans and supporters should join in the new fight to restore our great Tigers Leagues Club to its rightful and traditional heritage site on Victoria Road at Rozelle.
This week’s Good News is that the site developer has guaranteed the Tigers return to the new building and Tigers Dr Leslie Glenn has assured of the club’s financial viability.
The Development Application is before the Land and Environment Court for a further hearing in March but this would be unnecessary if the head-in-the-sand Leichhardt Councillors approved the now fully compliant development application.
Mayor Darcy Byrne claims to be a true Tiger. It’s time he acted like one and supported the return of the Balmain Tigers to Tiger Town.
Let’s all tell the Mayor and Councillors we want their support. And we want it now!
Call the Mayor and Councillors on 9367 9222 or email email@example.com mail Mayor Darcy Byrne and Councillors at 7 Wetherill Street, Leichhardt 2040.
Let’s all follow Tiger Lady Gwennie Bosler’s lead to ensure the Tigers Club back at Rozelle. And we’ll see ya firstname.lastname@example.org
Reported in this weeks Inner West Courier under heading; “Stoush Sees once-proud club lie in ruins.” First paragraph; " Squatter, hundreds of broken wires and flooded carpet are features of the abandoned Balmain Tigers Leagues Club as a stoush continues over plans for the site between the developer and Leichhardt Council. Rozelle Village CEO Ian Wright said the destruction of the club was shocking."
Those pics have been around for ages. He took them last year sometime. Must have reposted them recently.
And the thing is there’s practically no way on earth a Balmain Leagues Club could ever survive paying market rates for rent there. We could barely survive when we owned the place, if we were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in rent we’d last a few months.
How many teams pay rent for their leagues club? I’d hazard a guess and say none. And there’s a good reason for that!!! A number can’t afford modest mortgages, and then there’s the super rich ever expanding clubs.
Wright doesn’t give a crap about the Balmain Leagues Club. While i want the club back and Balmain financial again, if this current proposal goes forward we’ll be back, only to fold a short time after. Better for Wright to be rejected get pissed off and sell it to someone else. He’s too arrogant for that though sadly.
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