The Canberra Raiders' proposed $80 million redevelopment of the Braddon Club is closer to realisation following the ACT government's approval of a crucial component of the plan.
Canberra District Rugby League Football Club Ltd, the club's parent company, wants to build a mixed residential-commercial project on the site consisting of 160 units, shops, restaurants and offices.
The plan hinged on the ACT government allowing the concessional status of the land to be removed. This stipulated the area had to be used for a community club. The application has now been granted, which allows the club to go ahead with its plans for the site subject to the approval of a development application for the works.
But a request for a review of the government's decision could delay the company's million-dollar redevelopment.
The Braddon Club, which is located on land at the junction of Donaldson, Cooyong and Torrens streets, closed in June following the relocation of its 46 poker machines to the Canberra Raiders' Gungahlin venue.
The club closed for financial reasons ahead of the ACT government approving any development applications for the site.
A spokeswoman from the ACT Planning and Land Authority confirmed the application for de-concession of the Crown lease had been conditionally approved.
However, an application for a review of the decision has been lodged with the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The North Canberra Community Council, which has always opposed the development for the site, wants the area retained for community uses. Chairman Leon Arundell said the council had lodged the request for appeal because community and recreational facilities were needed in Braddon.
''There's a growing population in that area particularly with the redevelopment of the ABC Flats,'' Mr Arundell said.
''It's basically because we think there are uses for that land rather than a residential commercial complex.''
He said the council did not object to that type of mixed-use development but wanted that particular site retained for the community.
Canberra District Rugby League Football Club chief executive Simon Hawkins said the appeal would represent ''another hiccup'' in the plans and the decision now rested in the hands of ACAT.
He said ACTPLA was still considering the development application for the major works on the site, including the construction of the three buildings.
The club decided to fast-track the demolition component of the application separately following vandalism at the site since its closure.
The development application is still in the public notification period.
The ACTPLA spokeswoman said an application had also been lodged with the Economic Development Directorate for the direct sale of a small area of land along Donaldson Street, adjacent to the site.