D-Day looms for future of Bath's Recreation Ground
The long-running saga over the future of Bath’s Recreation Ground is entering its final chapter.
Councillors will next week give their backing to proposals to be published by the Charity Commission which would give Bath Rugby a bigger slice of The Rec.
In return, the club’s Lambridge sports ground would be transferred into the hands of the Recreation Ground Trust, which oversees the Rec.
The rugby club has been striving for years to find a way to construct a bigger stadium at The Rec, and the land deal which is at the heart of the commission’s new “scheme” should end the stalemate once and for all.
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The trust - which would in future expand its membership beyond councillors to include independent trustees - will produce a leaflet outlining the implications of the scheme.
There will then be a month in which representations about the proposals can be made to the commission, which has been trying to find a solution to The Rec since a High Court case a decade ago.
That case ruled that there was a clash between the land’s charitable status and its use by a commercial organisation in the shape of the rugby club, and the commission says a way to square this circle and allow the club to expand is for more land to made available for public use.
The commission scheme establishes a framework which would allow the club to be granted a new lease.
Bath Rugby, which is looking to create an arena with a capacity of between 17,000 and 18,000, would then submit a planning application.
Any new stadium would have stands on three sides, as at present, with a temporary east stand put up for the playing season only.
The trust meets at 6.30pm next Thursday at the Guildhall to discuss the latest situation.