Watchdog's blessing for Rec shake-up expected
Politicians in Bath are expecting the Charity Commission’s blessing for a plan to give the city’s rugby club a bigger slice of the Recreation Ground in the next few weeks.
The board of trustees of the Rec - made up of three councillors - met last night 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.
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.
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The board is expecting to have clearance for the whole new regime - which will include the establishment of a new board which could draw its members more widely from the community - by Christmas.
The club’s ambitions to develop a bigger ground at The Rec have thus 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 stadia plans in the last 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 club - which is keen to dramatically improve the look of the ground from the riverside - would then have to submit a planning application to B&NES Council.