Trustees of Bath Recreation Ground Trust can appeal tribunal decision

Charity tribunal ruled in March that a scheme approved by the Charity Commission would have to be amended substantially

Bath Recreation Ground
Bath Recreation Ground

The charity tribunal has given leave for the trustees of Bath Recreation Ground Trust to appeal against a decision in March by the tribunal which the trust says was "financially unhelpful".

In June 2013, the trust drew up a scheme, which was approved by the Charity Commission, to resolve a long-running dispute over use of the land, which is used as the home of Bath Rugby Club.

The scheme would have allowed the rugby club to use extra land at the site to develop its stadium, in return for its former training ground on the city’s outskirts, which would be passed on for public use.

Three local residents objected to the scheme; their appeal was heard by the tribunal in March.

It ruled that the scheme needed to be substantially amended, saying it was unlikely that the decision to give the rugby club substantial extra land could "be justifiable on the basis that such a grant is in furtherance of the objects of the charity" and that the proposed land swap was "not the only, or the best, practical solution that the trustees should consider in deciding how to further the objects of the charity".

The trust announced its intention to appeal against this decision in mid-April, saying the decision was "financially unhelpful to the trust" and contained errors in the law that was applied. However, the charity said it had already accepted and implemented some aspects of the decision concerning the make-up of its board of trustees.

Tribunal judge Peter Hinchliffe gave the trustees leave to appeal earlier this month.

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