‘Despicable’: Stadium stoush sparks legal threat from Chinese developer

An obscure Chinese-backed property developer has made a dramatic legal threat over the planned redevelopment of Penrith Stadium, claiming it has been ignored as a key stakeholder and its mega-project next door will be overshadowed and is at risk.

SHMH, whose parent company is Shanghai-based and has completed at least one previous Sydney project, owns 7.8 hectares of land next to the stadium. It has plans, but as yet no approval, for 2000 units in towers up to 14 storeys, in what would be one of Sydney’s biggest housing propositions.

Penrith Stadium, which will be redeveloped in 2025, and behind it the SHMH site at 164 Station Street.Credit: Getty Images

The Labor state government last year ditched plans to completely rebuild Penrith (commercially known as BlueBet) Stadium on an adjacent site, opting instead for a $309 million refurbishment which will involve a new western grandstand and a significantly rebuilt eastern grandstand, with capacity increasing to 25,000.

The detailed plans went on exhibition in May and attracted only 11 submissions, which were published on Thursday. One was a fire-and-brimstone letter from SHMH – through consultant Tomasy Planning – to Planning Minister Paul Scully and his department alleging a “despicable” failure to consult it about the plans.

Tomasy’s principal, Denis Smith, said the government “must acknowledge that the community consultation process has failed abysmally to consult the applicant’s nearest neighbour”.

He claimed SHMH only found out about the stadium project upon receiving a letter from the department on May 24 and had never been invited to stakeholder forums or meetings, which commenced in December 2023.

An artist’s impression from a master plan produced by PTW for the SHMH Penrith project.

An artist’s impression from a master plan produced by PTW for the SHMH Penrith project.

The stadium’s environmental impact statement (EIS), authored by consultants Ethos Urban, identified nine key stakeholders, including NSW Police, Venues NSW, Sydney Water, and Penrith Panthers. SHMH was not on that list.

It acknowledged the SHMH development was in its early stages but said that as no applications were currently lodged, the project could not be considered in the assessment.

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