This is feedback by the Pulteney Estate Residents Association (PERA) to the Stadium For Bath public consultation.
As representatives of the largest group of local residents living closest to the Recreation Ground, PERA has attended public consultation meetings and various operational and local resident engagement meetings with Bath Rugby. Despite this, due to the absence of key information, and in particular a Development Brief, PERA has been unable to form a view on the proposed development and therefore has to reserve its position on the new stadium proposals.
Key to PERA is being able to quantify and understand the new and additional impacts of the development over and above the current level of activities on the local residential area; lives of local residents and the character of the area we share with Bath Rugby.
To help local residents contribute to and understand the development, the latest Bath Local Plan, “Vol.2 Bath Composite Plan”, includes Policy SB2: Central Riverside & Recreation Ground, in Development Requirements and Design Principles. This states:
Riverside East (The Rec, including Bath Rugby Club, Bath Sports and Leisure Centre, the Pavilion, and other associated areas)
1. The preparation of a Development Brief, in conjunction with stakeholders, the local community and statutory consultees, will provide the detailed framework which will enable the development of a permanent sporting, cultural and leisure stadium, in accordance with Core Strategy policy B1(8)b.
The Local Plan also stipulates that the design of a new stadium will respond appropriately and creatively to its sensitive context within the World Heritage Site, including the importance of open views from Grand Parade, Orange Grove and Terrace Walk to the hillsides beyond, and the iconic view from North Parade to Pulteney Bridge and Weir. The range of views is to be agreed through the Development Brief and the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment process.
PERA has neither been involved in the design of a Development Brief nor made aware of the existence of a Development Brief required by the BaNES Local Plan.
PERA has therefore not been involved in the development of the detailed framework which will enable the development of a permanent sporting, cultural and leisure stadium. Also, the Bath Rugby public consultation process has not provided the information needed for residents to form a meaningful view of the proposed development.
Examples of the information about the new stadium proposals needed by local residents in order to quantify and understand the new and additional impacts on the local community include details of the following:
- Meaningful views/drawings of all relevant perspectives to create understanding of the impacts of the proposal upon the setting of heritage assets.
- More detail of design effects on local residents including height, width, footprint and proximity to residential homes/local landmarks of new stands.
- Details of additional rugby events (volume, frequency, crowd numbers, definitions, times).
- Details of non-rugby events including anticipated number, type and frequency/timings/licensing needs of non-rugby events (anticipated music concerts, film, other sports, conventions, festivals) and expected spectator numbers.
- Details of increased daily commercial and educational activities (restaurants, hospitality, bars, retail, conferences, schooling, charitable and servicing).
Proposed use of Recreation Ground adjacent to stadium for rugby and non-rugby activities.
- Acoustic/noise management plans for increased capacity and all additional activities.
- Mitigation plans for noise, nuisance and obstruction of views/light.
- Transport plans including Traffic, Parking (all vehicle types), Alternative Transport, Pollution and fit with relevant BaNES policies such as Net Zero, Resident Parking and Clean Air Zone.
- Resident and Spectator Safety plans from increased usage, increased capacity, increased non-rugby events and impact of Martyn’s Law.
- Floodlighting and other lighting plans and mitigations.
- Information about right of way through the site between Riverside and William Street and any potential public realm improvements.
- Clarity regarding the baselines for assessing the impacts of changes to the design and usage of the proposed stadium.
In the absence of involvement in creating the Development Brief and of the key information identified, it is not possible for PERA to form any meaningful views on the proposals at this time.
-31st May, 2023