How plans evolved following feedback
Some ideas have been shelved and new ones introduced as designs for a new Bath Rugby stadium on the Rec go into their final stages. The latest plans for an 18,000-capacity ground, including riverside regeneration, community use, an underground car park and a raised pitch are now on display at the Guildhall on High Street. In the summer, the Stadium for Bath group held an exhibition at the Rec showing their “emerging concepts”. A total of 1,100 people attended the event, 15,787 viewed the consultation online and more than 1,000 comments were received, both positive and negative. They recorded 78 per cent of comments as “generally positive”. The negative and constructive comments were also taken on board and a number of changes have been made to the design as a consequence. Other tweaks have been made, and aspects introduced. Here are ten such changes... 1. Stadium height: The height of the proposed stands has been reduced by 4m from the concepts released in the summer. They would be higher than the current West Stand, but lower than the roofs of the listed buildings on Johnstone Street. At its highest point, the roof would be 19.86m above the level of the pitch, 3.8m higher than at present. 2. Storeys: The plan was for four internal stories. Now there will be three in the West, East and South stands. Seats in the stands have all been reduced from 32 to 28 rows. 3. Less commercial and community space: As one of the storeys has been lost, 12,000 sq ft of commercial space has been taken out of the West Stand and 10,000 sq ft of community space is no longer planned for the East Stand. 4. Fewer hospitality boxes: Due to the reduction in height, 16 hospitality boxes have been taken out of the South Stand. 5. Less pitch run-off: The pitch run-off has been reduced to allow for more capacity in the South Stand, which will be built right up to and even overlap some of the leisure centre. That does mean, however, the fans in the stands will be very close to the action, as they are already. 6. The bespoke roof: The roof has been compressed and, looking from the outside, would taper downwards into the stadium, to keep the height above the stands to a minimum. The under side of the roof will have a slight angle upwards. 7. Not as far from the river: In the Summer, the plan was for the West edge of the stadium to move 26m further away from the river than it currently is and the East edge 53.2m further away. That has been revised to 17m and 48m respectively, creating a riverside park 31m wide. This means the stadium site would take up less of the Rec than previously envisaged, but still cover a bigger footprint than it does now. 8. The radial gate: The emerging concepts mooted the idea of removing the radial gate next to Pulteney Weir, which is a longstanding feature originally put in to control water flow. It is owned by the Environment Agency and doesn’t fall within the bounds of the Rec, nor the land Bath Rugby intend to lease from Bath Recreation Ltd. The idea hasn’t been shelved but will not be part of the initial planning application. It would require separate negotiations with the council and EA. 9. Bridges: In the summer, the idea of a bridge over to Parade Gardens - which is council land open to the public for £2 per visit - was introduced. That will not be included in the planning application, but a “simple yet elegant” bridge across to a viewpoint on Avon Island near the radial gate is planned. 10. Coach drop-off: The latest plans also include the idea of a coach drop-off point to the Southeast of the stadium, rather than near Bog Island on the other side of the river. That idea would have to be approved by Bath Recreation Ltd, however. The plans are on display until Saturday at the Guildhall, High Street, Bath - Thursday, December 6, 11am-7pm; Friday, December 7, 11am-7pm; Saturday, December 8, 10am-4pm. For those who are unable to attend, the information will be available via www.stadiumforbath. com along with an online feedback form.