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Design & Development

Bath Rugby submits stadium planning application

Featured image credit: Bath Rugby

Premiership club Bath Rugby has submitted a planning application to Bath & North East Somerset Council for its new stadium project.

The application includes an 18,000-capacity stadium with enhanced accessibility provisions, a “contemporary and sensitive” design, a new hybrid pitch, a regeneration of the nearby riverside area, a host of sustainability measures, and a riverside café/restaurant, club shop and museum for non-matchday use.

A statutory planning process will now follow, which will result in the application being considered by a council planning committee in due course.

The planning application comes after Bath Rugby in May unveiled revised plans for a major redevelopment of the Recreation Ground. The club said the latest designs reflected the changing needs of the club, the city and the community.

Last month, London-based Apollodorus Architecture put forward a ‘counter project’ to the Stadium for Bath venture being driven by the club, repositioning the Recreation Ground site as a Colosseum-like structure.

Apollodorus said its proposal represented a different reality to the “open wound” of the current site of “unfortunate structures” on the bank of the River Avon and the open space of the stadium.

However, Bath Rugby is pressing ahead with its own vision for the site, with the club hoping to potentially start construction work in the second quarter of 2024.

Tarquin McDonald, chief executive of Bath Rugby, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have submitted our proposals. This is the culmination of many years of collaboration, listening and refining, which we now believe delivers the world-class facility that Bath Rugby and the wider city deserves. We are excited to share our vision with all and would ask people to review the proposals via the B&NES planning portal and ultimately support them.”

Kay Elliott has been appointed as the architect for the project. Bath Rugby has previously said that it would consider selling naming rights for the new stadium further down the line.

The plans for a new stadium were first discussed in 2017 but the project was put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.