Friday, 22 February 2013

RFOTR - Rec Progress Update

In today's Bath Chronicle there is a headline article titled 'Rec to rival best in world' which includes a lot of quotes from Bath Rugby's owner Bruce Craig about his vision for the Rec, and a good summary of the status of progress on the Rec. Well worth a read!

The Charity Commission has appointed an independent reviewer to look at its proposed 'Scheme' for the Rec in light of the many responses received during the consultation period on the 'Scheme' last December. As we informed RFOTR members in an earlier email 1,868 responses were received by the Charity Commission with 1,624 (87%) being supportive of the 'Scheme'. The Charity Commission's decision on whether or not to move ahead with the 'Scheme' is expected by the end of April.

In another development those opposing development of a new arena on the Rec have applied to B&NES Council to Rec designated as a Town/Village Green. We reported this move to RFOTR members in an earlier email. We understand that B&NES Council will decide their response to this application in April. As we told RFOTR members earlier this application is simply a delaying tactic with no merit. Below are the key points from our earlier email:

"Our understanding is that this application fails the criteria of “the land 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” for multiple reasons including:

- All sporting activities on the Rec (formal or informal) need the permission of the Rec Trust and have to be booked through the Trust
- The Leisure Centre (which is included in the application) clearly does not have free access and is not open at all times.
- The tennis courts and other facilities on the Rec do not have open access for ‘sports and pastimes’
- On rugby match days there is not free access to the pitch and stands for ‘sports and pastimes’.

In the unlikely event that the application to make the Rec a ‘Town/Village Green’ becomes successful, this would have a number of consequences. One of these would make all the current activities on the Rec, including the Leisure Centre, unlawful with major negative impacts on the citizens of Bath. In addition the Rec Trust and B&NES could be left with a large financial liability which would end up with the council taxpayers of B&NES."

A lot due to happen over the next couple of months, but we are confident that we are getting closer and closer to having a world-class venue at the Rec for 'All Sports for All People'!

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