Charity Commission reviews Bath Recreation Ground Trust board plans

Scheme was drawn up in response to concerns about the trust's plans to change its objects and swap land

Bath Rugby Club
Bath Rugby Club

The Charity Commission has launched a review of plans to appoint a new board of trustees for the Bath Recreation Ground Trust after the scheme met with more than 200 objections.

It is the latest development in a long-running dispute over the plot of charitable land, which is in the centre of Bath and includes the home ground of Bath Rugby Club.

The commission drew up a scheme to establish a new body of independent trustees for the trust, which is managed by Bath & North East Somerset Council as its corporate trustee, after the trust's plans to change its objects to include indoor sporting activities and exchange part of the land caused local concern.

The trust wanted to trade the space for Bath Rugby Club’s former training ground at Lambridge, on the city’s outskirts.

Announcing the review, the commission said it received an "unprecedented" 1,868 responses to the scheme. Of these, 1,624 were in support of establishing a new board of trustees, but the remaining 244 objected to the proposal. 

The commission said that because of the objections it would launch a formal decision-review procedure, led by Neil Robertson, head of operations at the commission’s Taunton office and a member of the regulator’s senior management team.

As part of the review, everyone who submitted a response to the original scheme will be given the opportunity to talk to the reviewer to clarify and expand on their original submission, the commission said.

Robertson is expected to make a final decision on the need for a new trustee board by April. If appointed, the new trustees would be responsible for all future decisions made about changes to the recreation ground.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: "The trustees will make the decision about what to do. It’s not our decision to make."

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