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Feilden Clegg Bradley plans 'Georgian' rugby ground...

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Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects is involved in an ambitious £40 million project to create a Georgian-style stadium for Bath Rugby Club.

The move to build the extraordinary arena, which has not been backed by Bath RFC, is the latest instalment in a debate over the future of the club's Recreation Ground that has been running for several years.

The proposals, put forward by the BathSport consortium, include a 15,000-seat stadium, with the street-facing exterior designed to mimic, and keep to the same proportions as, the Georgian architecture surrounding it.

BathSport's executive summary states: 'The terraces are sized to match the Georgian terraces and will house not just the viewing terraces but also cafés and restaurants opening out on to the riverside.

'The enhanced 15,000-seat arena, the only one in the country to be built with an exterior which harmonises with its built city context, will be used for both sporting fixtures and other events.'

The proposed scheme will include the redevelopment of Bath Cricket Club, adjacent to the Recreation Ground, and would landscape the riverside space, creating a footbridge to link the ground with the rest of the city.

Any redevelopment on the site has been difficult. Called the Royal Forum, it was created in the 18th century for community recreational activities and is now part of the government's charitable trust.

BathSport's 17-page executive summary has been put to a formal strategic review, setting out how it will meet the legal requirements being enforced by the government's charity commission.

by Richard Vaughan

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