Council’s concerns over East Stand

B&NES has issued a statement saying it is considering its next move in response to Bath Rugby Club’s announcement that because of ‘circumstances beyond our control’ it cannot remove the East Stand of the Recreation Ground for the summer period.

The club said it knew it had breached one of the planning conditions for their ground – as regulations state the stand must be taken down each summer.

In a statement the club said:

‘The condition states that in the three weeks following the final fixture at the Rec, the stands must be removed, and that the reconstruction must not commence more than four weeks before the first home game of the new season.

Arena Group, the company that owns and leases the east stand structure to the club, has issued an official notice to Bath Rugby informing of an impending breach of contract.

The notice confirms that it has been impossible to plan, schedule, recruit, and train staff throughout the pandemic causing an extreme shortage of specialist construction teams. As a result, Arena Group’s operational capacity is severely limited meaning the east stand can no longer be dismantled and re-erected safely this summer.”

The club said it had shared concerns with the council – over the removal of the stand – earlier this year. One such concern noted the availability of contractors following a year of crisis for the construction industry.

‘Unfortunately, these concerns have now become a very real reality through circumstances beyond the club’s and Arena Group’s control.

“In their communication with the club, Arena Group went on to state that the health and safety of their staff and clients is paramount.

Furthermore, due to the complex nature of the east stand structure, Arena Group are unable to subcontract this work, always requiring full quotas of experienced crews and approved staff to guarantee a safe working environment.”

Meanwhile, in a statement issued today the council said:

‘Bath & North East Somerset Council is aware that Bath Rugby Club has issued a statement saying that it will not be removing the East Stand over the summer. This would be a clear breach of a planning condition.

The council expects all parties, including Bath Rugby Club, to honour the planning commitments they have entered into. The council is very concerned by the club’s approach and is currently  considering next steps in response.’