Rec group welcomes positive talks
A pressure group which wants a new ground for Bath Rugby to be developed at The Rec has welcomed the progress being made in talks with a Government watchdog.
Politicians in Bath are expecting the Charity Commission's blessing for a plan to give the rugby club a bigger slice of The Rec in the next few weeks.
The Real Friends of The Rec (RFoTC) group, which has nearly 4,800 members, says this is "very positive news".
The board of trustees of The Rec – made up of three councillors – met last week to discuss the latest situation in a ten-year saga over the future of the land that has been home to Bath Rugby for more than a century.
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The Government watchdog has agreed in principle to the plans, which involve a land swap deal allowing the club to expand its presence on the city centre site in exchange for its training ground at Lambridge effectively becoming publicly owned.
The commission will publish what is called a scheme for The Rec in the next few weeks, reflecting the trustees' plans, which will trigger a 28-day consultation exercise to find out if any legal issues have been overlooked.
The board is expecting to have clearance by Christmas for the whole new regime, which will include the establishment of a new board that could draw its members more widely from the community.
The club's ambitions to develop a bigger ground at The Rec have so far been hampered by the constraints of the footprint it has a long-term lease to use, and by the land's charitable status.
The club has worked on several stadium plans in the past decade, each involving different configurations as it weighs up its options.
It is likely to come up with its most definitive plan yet once the commission has given its blessing.
The RFoTC said in a statement: "This is very positive news as once the 28-day statutory notice period has passed, and should the commission finally adopt the scheme, the way will be clear for planning applications to be submitted for development on The Rec.
"We are moving steadily forward in enabling The Rec to become a great venue for all sports for all people."