Page last updated at 17:41 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Rugby ground expansion rejected

Simulation of proposed development
The club wants to expand ground capacity to 15,000

Plans to redevelop The Recreation Ground in Bath for the city's rugby club have been turned down by the Charity Commission.

The commission said it was unable to support the plans because the benefits of the proposals do not outweigh the detriments, making it not legal.

However it did say it was open to accepting revised proposals.

A Recreation Ground Board of Trustees spokesman said it was "deeply disappointed" at the news.

The club said it needs to expand its capacity to meet the demands of the rugby union game's authorities.

Appeal permissible

One of its options was to build a new 15m stadium on the Recreation Ground.

It currently holds 10,500 spectators and the club wants to expand this to 15,000.

"While we welcome clarity around the leisure centre, we are deeply disappointed that the commission feels that at this stage it is unable to proceed to make a new scheme to allow the trust to enter into the proposed lease for the long term with Bath Rugby plc," a trustee spokesman said.

In a statement the Charity Commission said the current proposal, negotiated between the charity and the Bath Rugby Club, did not show there are sufficient benefits to the charity.

"The charity can if it wishes make a revised application to us or appeal the decision we have made if it is dissatisfied. The commission's decision was communicated to the trustees at the end of last week, who requested additional time to consider our findings prior to us making the decision public.

"We were not aware of any public statements being made by the charity."

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