Stadium for Bath, the group behind a new stadium for Bath Rugby, is now targeting a completion date of summer 2022 for the development, nearly a year later than initially planned.
Stadium for Bath, which comprises the English Premiership rugby union club, its charity Bath Rugby Foundation and Arena 1865, owner Bruce Craig’s development company, revealed the new timeline in a scoping report that was submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council.
“It is envisaged that the site preparation associated with the proposed scheme and subsequent building construction will commence in May 2020, and will be completed by Summer 2022,” Stadium for Bath stated.
The group had previously said that the new 18,000-capacity stadium, which is set to be built on the same site as the historic 14,500-capacity Recreation Ground, could open as early as September 2021.
A full planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of this summer, but although it was originally envisaged that building work would start during the 2019-20 season, there is now no suggestion that the campaign will be disrupted by the project.
After having considered 16 different options for its temporary home during the construction project, the club’s preferred option is to lease a section of the stadium from Bath Recreation Ltd – the legal landlords of the charitable land – and build a temporary venue.
When it is built, the new stadium will incorporate a riverside park, community facilities and a car park located under a raised pitch. The pitch itself would be at least partly artificial.
The scoping report also aims to address concerns about the potential impact on 30 viewing points in the picturesque city. The stadium’s proposed new stands would be about 50% taller than the current West Stand.
“These issues have been identified as sensitive, and impacts potentially significant, due to the site location in the centre of Bath, within the Bath World Heritage Site, the Bath Conservation Area and approximately 400m from the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with associated actual and potential visibility from a wide area around the city and environs,” the report stated.