Rugby could be 5 times capacity of Albert Hall
For many years the Bath Society has worked tirelessly with others to protect Bath Recreation Ground as possibly the most important open space in the city.
A public spirited citizen, Jack Sparrow of Forester Road, Bathwick, Bath has now applied under the Commons Act 2006 for the land to be included in the Register of Town and Village Greens on the grounds that the land qualified for such registration on November 14, 2012 by virtue of it having been used and continuing to be used as of right by the inhabitants of the city of Bath for at least 20 years for lawful sports and pastimes. It was also by virtue of the conveyance of the land on February 1, 1956 to the mayor, aldermen and citizens of Bath for recreational pastimes of all descriptions, subject to the land continuing only as an open space and to there being no undue preference for any one use.
The application was advertised by a public notice in the Bath Chronicle of Thursday January 10, 2013 (page 65).
It will probably be considered by a planning inspector as a public enquiry in due course. The public notice advised any person wishing to object to the registration of the land as a town or village green should send a statement of the facts on which the objection is based to our council at Riverside, Temple Street, Keynsham, BA31 1LA not later than February 20, 2013.
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In my opinion the public notice should have made it clear that supporters of the registration of the land can also make representations.
In 1991 and 1992 the Bath Society was successful in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in a landmark planning law case – the Bath Society versus the Secretary of State for the Environment and Hammercrest Developments.
The outcome of the case emphasised the statutory duty of decision makers on planning applications in conservation areas to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of such areas. This strengthened the protection of conservation areas across the country.
By no stretch of the imagination could a mooted rugby stadium in the range 18,000 spectators to 25,000 spectators on the Recreation Ground be said to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the land.
These 18,000 spectators would be three times the capacity of the Albert Hall, 25,000 spectators would be five times the capacity of the Albert Hall.
ANTHONY CROMBIE Chairman The Bath Society Sion Hill Place Bath