Wednesday, 25 April 2012

RFOTR - Rec Update

At the Bath Recreation Ground Trust Board Meeting on 19th April 2012 the RFOTR submitted written questions in order to understand the current status of progress on redevelopment at the Rec. The RFOTR Committee was becoming increasing concerned at the slow rate of progress since the public consultation last year. The responses (see below) to our questions indicate that whilst progress is being made it is at a very slow rate!

The Q&As in full:

Questions from: Peter Downey


1. Can the Chair advise the process and procedures required to make a decision on the Recreation Ground’s redevelopment?

2. On what date did the Rec Trust make a Proposal/Scheme to the Charity Commission on the future of the Rec? If they did, what was proposed and has there been any response from the Charity Commission?

3.Has the Charity Commission stated its position on the Rec and have they accepted the principle of the “Land Swap”?

4.Is there a detailed timetable for the granting of Landlord’s Consent for the redevelopment of the West Stand?

Answers from: The Chair


1.The Charity Commission’s website explains the processes available to charities to amend their governing documents.
Guidance notes entitled “Changing your charity’s governing document (CC36)” may be helpful.

2.The Charity Commission have responded and a meeting is scheduled during the last week of April to discuss the proposals and next steps. Once details of a scheme have been agreed, full details (including proposed lease terms and land valuations) will be published. It is envisaged that a timetable of next steps will also be published.

3.The Charity Commission has indicated in the past that the idea of a land swap has merit but that the previous proposal, which used Firs Field, did not satisfy the requirement that the package of benefits should outweigh detriments.

4.Not at this point. Any development would also require full public consultation through the planning system.

The outcome of the meeting between the Rec Trustees and the Charity Commission at the end of April will be of special interest to all RFOTR members! Notwithstanding the reference to Firs Field in the Answer 3. we understand that the proposals referred to in Answer 2. do include the proposed Lambridge 'land swap'.

We believe that one source of delay has been a change of personnel at the Charity Commission with a new case officer having responsibility for Rec issues. We also understand that the Rec Trust wrote to the Charity Commission in December 2011 setting out the proposals that had received the support of the overwhelming majority of beneficiaries after the consultation conducted last year.

The meeting between the Rec Trust and the Charity Commission in the last week of April will discuss the proposals and next steps. At this point we will know a lot more.

Once details of a scheme have been agreed full details (including proposed lease terms and land valuations) will be published. It is envisaged that a timetable of next steps will also be published.

As we told RFOTR members in the last email Bath Rugby have now purchased Lambridge to enable the land swap to progress, should the proposed scheme be found suitable by the Charity Commission and then agreed by the Rec Trust.

In the meantime e will continue to keep RFOTR members informed of all developments and we hope that the pace of activity will pick up from May onwards!

CONTACTS
You can contact the Executive Committee via email at contact@realfriendsoftherec.co.uk

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