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Thursday, 8 May 2014
Bath Rugby tackles expansion plans for its ground The Rec - albeit
Bath Rugby has drawn up plans to temporarily expand its ground at The Rec ahead of a major new stadium.
The club has now acknowledged that it will not have its new stadium completed in time for its 150th anniversary next year, which is also the year of the next Rugby World Cup.
Extra work on fine-tuning its designs and the complication of a charity tribunal rejecting an attempt to give the club extra space on The Rec have delayed a planning application for a new arena which would dramatically open up the riverside and expand capacity.
In the mean time, the club is about to submit a planning application to Bath and North East Somerset Council for changes to the existing buildings at The Rec to raise capacity from 12,300 to 14,000.
It plans extra rows of seating at the back of its temporary East Stand, additional temporary boxes on either side of the South Stand, and some temporary seating above the terraces on the North Stand.
The planning application will cover a two-year period.
Meanwhile, the club is still working on its long-term planning application for a new stadium which would take around 16,000 people.
It is now waiting for a timetable for the appeal by the Recreation Ground Trust - the committee which oversees the land on a day to day basis - against a charity tribunal ruling which makes development more complicated there.
The tribunal rejected the idea - outlined in a scheme put forward by the Charity Commission - of allowing Bath Rugby a bigger footprint on The Rec in return for a land swap arrangement at Lambridge.
The trust is now applying for leave to take the case to the next tier in the appeal process, although it could be several months before a result is known.