Sydney’s Waverley Council has joined calls to halt the demolition and subsequent rebuilding of the Australian city’s Allianz Stadium.

The New South Wales coalition government in December decided to award a contract for the demolition of Allianz Stadium and construction of a new venue it claims will be the finest in Australia.

Earlier this month, it emerged that the controversial plans will head to court after the Local Democracy Matters group gained an expedited hearing. The NSW Land and Environment Court will hear the case brought forward by the group from February 20-22.

The project has ramped up political tensions ahead of elections scheduled for next month, with both the Labor and Greens parties being strongly opposed to the government’s wider stadium masterplan.

Waverley Council has now joined Local Democracy Matters’ calls and says it is “confident” it can prevent the planned demolition of the stadium. The AAP news agency reported that the council has been granted an expedited hearing to be held concurrently alongside the case already brought by Local Democracy Matters.

The council feels that Planning Minister Anthony Roberts approved the stadium plans without determining whether it would exhibit “design excellence”.

Waverley’s Labor mayor John Wakefield told the AAP: “I’m confident we have a very solid case and we are defending the principles of law, the process of law and the interests of the community.”

The AAP reported that the council has named the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust, Infrastructure NSW and developer Lendlease as respondents along with the minister.

Allianz Stadium, also known as the Sydney Football Stadium, is set to be rebuilt with the existing venue to be replaced by an innovative stadium featuring a hybrid steel and wood roof. ANZ Stadium, meanwhile, is set to undergo major renovation work as part of wide-ranging plans outlined last year by the government, led by Premier Gladys Berejiklian. The total cost of the plan stands at Aus$1.5bn (£832.2m/€943.1m/$1.06bn).

Image: Allianz Stadium