Balmain Leagues Club's development plans unveiled
The Inner West Council has released for public viewing the much anticipated plans for the rebirth of the Balmain Leagues Club. Dubbed Rozelle Laneways, the development was submitted to Council during May and would see the $135 million proposal bring Balmain Tigers back to their Rozelle home which is currently in a state of disrepair.
The application is in unison with Chinese-backed Heworth Development who for their part would hope realise 173 apartments across three apartment buildings. Balmain Tigers would take on a new 2,200 square metre club, with extensive landscaping and public spaces included across the development which is located at 152 Victoria Road.
A degree of uncertainty surrounds the application with reports that a compulsory acquisition is on the cards as the New South Wales Government looks to take over the site for infrastructure needs.
Despite the possibility of State Government intervention, the development team has pushed on with the application, headed by architects Scott Carver.
For their part, the design practice has envisaged the project as "an opportunity to create a unique cultural and community focus and place to live and work for the residents of Rozelle and Balmain. This redevelopment proposes the idea of bringing back the Balmain Tigers, one of Australia’s founding rugby league clubs, to their historical home and creating a new public Town Square connected to the surrounding streets, shops and homes through a network of laneways that extend the character of the Rozelle neighbourhood."
Seven key design pillars are incorporated into the development. They are:
- A Commercial and Community Anchor: A new Town Square provides a large outdoor venue for community events as well as day to day spaces for eating, meeting with friends and children’s play and rest.
- A new Balmain Leagues Club: The facility is designed as the centrepiece of Rozelle Lanes. It is located adjacent to the Town Square at Darling Street level to promote the connectivity of the club to the surrounding streets and community.
- Club Terrace: In the tradition of the surrounding neighbourhoods a Club Terrace provides a north facing and shaded public space of pocket parks and grand stairways to Victoria Road.
- Creative Commercial Community: These form a campus of indoor and outdoor spaces for collaborative work ideally positioned in the heart of the Rozelle Commercial Neighbourhood closely connected to public transport.
- Food and Beverage Precinct: They would provide a 7 day per week economy within the heart of Rozelle whilst being separated from the traffic of Victoria Road. A supermarket is located beneath the Town Square.
- Affordable Housing: A component of the residential apartments will be designated as Affordable Housing to cater for low to moderate income households.
- Residential Apartment Village: situated against Victoria Road to provide an acoustic buffer to the Town Square and to preserve the scale and character of Waterloo Street.
The Balmain Leagues Club component will be complementary to the intended Town Square in that it is an internal/external space that is designed with a variety of flexible areas, including a bar, cafe, restaurant and lounges that adapt throughout the day, enriched with a variety of food, events and entertainment."
Rozelle Square's anchor point will be The Tigers Club with Scott Carver endeavouring to form a seamless transition between all sub precincts across the site. Reinforcing the strong street level design dynamic is the heavy inclusion of green spaces that will be tiered across a number of levels throughout the development.
For its part the Balmain Tigers board is satisfied with progress over the course of 2018, stating "Discussions with the new owners have been very cordial and positive concerning the club’s future and assurances of their support have been received. It continues to be at the foremost of our minds to honour the legacy of those who established Balmain Tigers in 1908 and to all those who guided it through its long and distinguished history."