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22-08-2014 - - News - 0 comments

The Trustees have concluded arrangements with Bath Rugby Limited for the coming years. These arrangements are included in a number of private commercial documents the key ones being:

  • Variation to the 1995 Lease
  • Two Year East Stand Lease
  • Five Year Operations Licence

Overall the agreements provide certainty for up to 5 years while the long term occupation by Bath Rugby Limited is finally resolved, incorporate significant gains for the Trust and in the opinion of the Trustees are in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the Trust. The arrangements enable the temporary planning permission for increase in capacity to be brought into effect and have been approved by the Custodian Trustee. The Trust has obtained independent professional legal and financial advice in support of all these decisions.

In summary the Trust has gained changes that:

  • reflect the Tribunal Order of April 2014
  • provide security of income
  • allow for reinstatement both annually and at the end of lease terms
  • provide clear procedures surrounding events, together with
  • clarification and simplification of a number of operational matters

A Consultation Notice has been issued in relation to a proposed Five Year East Stand Lease. That Lease has not yet been granted as the consultation period has not yet expired and so the Trustees have not been able to consider the representations made. With the rugby season almost upon us the Trustees have agreed a Two Year East Stand Lease as an interim measure.

The Trust continues to work with Bath Rugby Limited in the context of the rights they have under the 1995 Lease to secure long term and appropriate improvements to the area occupied by them.

The Trustees would like to highlight the following:

Financial Benefit

The arrangements secure a stable income for the Trust which the Trust can apply for charitable purposes. The amount receivable incorporates the recently agreed rent review in relation to the 1995 Lease and gives improved security of future income.

Comprehensive Arrangements

Inevitably requirements change over time and the opportunity has been taken to include all arrangements in one suite of documents. These include occupation of the 1995 Lease land, occupation of the additional 1136 square metres of land permitted for the East Stand, Car Parking, Match Day Parking, Beer Tent, Television, Floodlights and an Oversail.

Reinstatement on Termination of the 1995 Lease

The 1995 Lease did not impose an obligation on Bath Rugby to return the land to open space on termination of that lease. This could have placed the Trust in a very difficult position if the 1995 Lease came to an end at a time when the Trust did not have sufficient funds to demolish the non listed buildings occupied by Bath Rugby Limited and return the land to playing fields. The obligation is now placed on Bath Rugby Limited.

Break Clause

To obtain the reinstatement obligation the Trustees have conceded that Bath Rugby can break the 1995 Lease between 2019 and 2069. This is entirely consistent with returning the Rec to open space.

Cap on Pitch Maintenance

Under the 1995 Lease the Trust was obliged to maintain the pitch used by Bath Rugby Limited. The Trust has agreed a cap on their future contribution.

Rates

The Trust has always been responsible for a proportion of the rates reflecting its own use. In future, and as part of the overall arrangements, the amount recharged to the Trust by Bath Rugby Limited will be less than 40% of what has been charged in recent years.

Clear Definition of Season/Off Season

There is now a clearer distinction between the rugby season and the off season when the East Stand land must be reinstated and the whole Rec opened up to other users. This clarity has been obtained by having a multi year agreement for the East Stand land. In particular the wording on reinstatement and availability for 3 consecutive summer months, contained in the Tribunal Order of April 2014, is embodied in the East Stand Lease. Should Bath Rugby Limited fail to comply with their obligations the Trust is entitled to charge additional rent of £1,000 per day.

Events

The Trustees are very mindful of the impact that additional events can have on our neighbours. The Trust have therefore included provisions where if Bath Rugby Limited wish to hold an outdoor event that falls outside the existing provisions of the 1995 Lease and if in the season is to continue after 6pm, or in the off season, they must provide an impact assessment to the Trustees as part of the process of requesting consent from the Trust. Under these new arrangements an Impact Assessment means “a written statement … containing sufficient and suitable information under the following headings:

i. event overview and hours
ii. contacts & event management and security (command and control including stewarding)
iii. licensing requirements
iv. site/operational layout
v. contingency planning/emergencies

vi. consideration of residents and local businesses

vii. noise management plan

viii. traffic/travel plan/parking
ix. refuse and waste
x. reinstatement”

Oversail

Bath Rugby Limited’s plans for the East Stand while confining the footprint that extends beyond the 1995 Lease land to 1136 square metres, as specified in the Tribunal Order of April 2014, include an oversail at the rear of the stand over Trust land. The Trustees have taken independent specialist legal advice and have concluded that agreeing to the oversail will have no adverse impact on the use of the Rec by other groups and, as part of the these comprehensive arrangements, the overall effect of the transaction is to provide a net benefit to the charity in furthering its charitable purposes.


Elizabeth Bloor

20 August 2014

 

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