BANES ‘stand’ on Bath Rugby home stand


Rugby temporary stand to remain all summer Image: Recreation Ground, Rwendland, CC BY-SA 4.0

A stand at the professional rugby union club Bath Rugby’s home venue – The Recreation Ground in Bath, England (UK) – has been given the green light to remain all Summer despite more than 50 objections.

‘BBC’ stated that the club usually has to take down the stadium’s East Stand in the Summer months thus allowing the locals to enjoy an unobstructed view under a rule laid down by the Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES).

The Bath Rugby is a professional rugby union club in Bath, Somerset, England (UK). They play in the Premiership Rugby, England’s top division of rugby. Founded in 1865 as the Bath Football Club, since 1894 the club has played at the Recreation Ground in the City Centre.

The 14,509-capacity Recreation Ground is a large open space in the center of Bath, England, next to the River Avon, which is available to be used by permission from The Recreation Ground Trust for recreational purposes by the public at large but particularly the people of Bath and those living in the surrounding areas. A part of the site serves as the home venue for the Bath Rugby.

The Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES) is the local authority for Bath and North East Somerset, a local Government district in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England (UK). The Council is a unitary authority being a District Council which also performs the functions of a County Council.

‘BBC’ further stated that following the club’s success this season, which saw them only narrowly lose the Gallagher Premiership (the top division of the English rugby union system) Final, the BANES has approved proposals for the stand to stay up this year.

Observed Ian Halsall, Council Chairman, “It just seems bonkers to be taking down a stand to reassemble it just for a few weeks.”

Due to the club’s final match which took place on June 1st, there would have only been nine to 10 weeks before it needed to be rebuilt for the new season – and three weeks of that on each end would be spent taking it down and putting it back up.

A Planning Committee on June 6th was told that 52 people had lodged objections with four people issuing messages in support of the club’s proposals, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) is an initiative in the United Kingdom funded by the broadcasting company British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The scheme pays for the employment of journalists by the local independent news outlets in order to improve the coverage of issues relating to the local democracy.

Bath Rugby’s Planning Consultant, Tim Burden, told Councilors that the organizers for the Summer events planned to use the stand for the Bath Rugby Summer Scrum and the Bath Carnival.

He added, “There are also environmental benefits in terms of removing the significant construction traffic movements and noise which occur during the construction phases.”

The Planning Committee Member, Toby Simon, said the stand was “not a thing of beauty”, but added that logic points “firmly” towards allowing the stand to stay.

He remarked, “One hundred and thirty four (134) heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) movements is a considerable disadvantage to this City. Two and a half tons of carbon saved – that’s worth doing. I think the fact that this Council has declared a climate emergency since the original imposition of this requirement to take the stand down is a material factor that we need to build in.”

The club is in the process of applying for a planning permission to replace the current stands with a permanent stadium.

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