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Redevelopment Consultation Thursday 21st February 7.30pm

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Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:25 pm

Twerton Park Redevelopment - Supporters' Consultation 21st Feb. Be there to have your say. Please note that this is for Supporters Society members and Community Share holders only.

Please make every effort to come along to this important consultation to have your say about Bath City’s proposed new stadium. It’s vital we hear the supporters’ voices BEFORE the submission of the planning application which is currently scheduled for March 2019.

7.30pm Thursday 21st Feb, TR Hayes Lounge, Twerton Park , BA2 1DB
We have conducted previous consultations and Q&A sessions (13th Dec, 24th & 25th Jan). The purpose of this evening is to have an open dialogue about progress to-date (for those who haven’t managed to attend previous sessions) and the key design features. The football stadium specialist architects from FWP (https://www.fwpgroup.co.uk/sectors/)will be present to guide and assist us. The Society Committee will also be available to share its conclusions,as required, gained as part of the intensive due diligence exercise it has conducted. The intention is to have an interactive structured session. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions and have your say.

Context:

The Redevelopment was integral to the Business Plan in the Big Bath City Bid and represents the only initiative the club has to clear its approx. £1m debts. The Redevelopment Working Group has assembled a comprehensive team of experts and has spent approx. 2 years working hard in partnership with Greenacre, the company which bought Twerton High Street and the ‘ransom strip’, to create the Development Agreement.

High Level Summary:

The Club will receive£1.5m once the planning permission is completed. This is vital to the payment of debts and the financial viability of the club in the near future.

As part of the overall scheme (which will also revamp Twerton High Street and provide student accommodation and some affordable housing) the club will benefit from:

A brand new 1,000 seater grandstand (i.e. Football League standard) and an enclosure for 1,000 standing on the North side of the ground
A comprehensive set of facilities, to include changing rooms, community rooms, gym, bar facilities,hospitality facilities (for match-day and non match-day use) etc.
Together these are valued at approx. £6m and have been designed with financial sustainability / revenue generating opportunities in mind.

The Club will relinquish some of the current Car Park land (to enable the student accommodation to be built).

Every project of this magnitude and complexity has risks associated with it. The Society Committee has made it its No.1 priority to understand all the risks,potential impacts and the opportunities. We are confident that, with the help of our team of subject matter experts (some of whom are Society members), we have identified all the risks which we could reasonably expect to at this stage and understand the mitigation options of each. Our collective challenge is to assess these risks, implications and opportunities compared to not going ahead with the Redevelopment.

Come along to one of the consultations (or all of them!) to ask the questions we may not have thought of. There are additional consultations planned in a different format as follows:

Wednesday 20th February, from 2pm to 8pm 115a High Street, Twerton, BA2 1DB.

Saturday 23rd February, from 12pm to 3pm (before kick-off at the home game with Slough Town) in Charlie’s Bar at Twerton Park.



(ahead of the Slough Town fixture)

Best wishes

Michael Clayton (Chair)

Bath City Supporters’ Society


Last edited by Marc Monitor on Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:45 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Post by comrade powell on Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:22 pm

Marc, although I suppose the last 2 lines make it clear, should you not stress that this consultation is for Society members and not for supporters who are non members?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:37 pm

I didn't draft the note, just passing it on so am happy to stress that it is just for current Society members.
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Post by OliverH on Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:39 pm

Will this be the same as the last two redevelopment meetings?

At the previous meetings it was indicated that the future of Twerton Park itself - i.e., how the pitch is levelled and how that might affect the Bath end, etc - was still up in the air to some extent, and potentially open to more supporter feedback. Is that still the case, or is this consultation now the chance to give that feedback?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:06 pm

Just for the record, I have changed the opening post text (and the title) to reflect the email that went out to the supporters from the Society yesterday.
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Post by BenE on Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:47 pm

Oliver I would expect the presentation to be the final proposal before formal submission. Although having said this it is only a very short time after the previous presentation when this was offered as a very real possibility with the proviso that it needed to make financial sense ie the cost of retaining walls v the cost of carting earth away. So presumably the sums have been worked out.
I would anticipate that there will be some levelling of the pitch because otherwise the grandstand won't be square on to the pitch and that won't work for the whole development.
I am quite excited by the proposals in terms of what it offers Bath City.
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Post by OliverH on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:00 pm

Thanks BenE.

Yes for those who haven't followed this part of the consultation so far, it's basically accepted that 3G means that the pitch will have to levelled, and also that it makes far more sense to build a new grandstand that's level rather than fitting it to the slope! So the Twerton Park Slope will disappear - not necessarily to being totally flat, but most likely.

The question then becomes how you achieve that - the plans presented a few weeks ago seemed to suggest bringing the pitch "up" to meet the level of the Popular/Bristol corner. This would leave us with a flat, unterraced Bath End and also swallow up parts of the Popular Side nearest the Bath End (the slide we were shown resembled one of those maps showing parts of London etc underwater from climate change). This is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly because you can use the spoil from the grandstand works to add more dirt to the pitch, rather than "shaving off" the pitch to make it all level with the Bath End / High Street corner, and then having to pay to get all that dirt removed somewhere (which would also make the Pop/Bristol corner look very odd).

I think the potential loss of a terraced Bath end spooked some of the people in the presentation I was in, and as I recall there were assurances that there would be yet more supporter consultation about the specific question of what happens within the walls of Twerton Park, even after the planning application went in.

This was discussed in terms of actually getting supporters out onto the pitch etc and being shown potential changes in the flesh - we even talked about the possibility of using VR headsets to simulate what it would be like to stand in the new ground, or at very least a 3D model that people can look at, as it's not always easy to interpret architects drawings.

I was hoping that this would then involve the stadium architects actually presenting different options based on feedback from supporters and the budget constraints, and members then being able to vote on it, as opposed to consultation of the "I don't like it / well there's not much choice / OK go on then" variety (which is sometimes genuinely the best that an organisation in difficult circumstances can offer, I'm not knocking the club).

Hence my question of whether this next meeting really is the last chance to have a say on the final layout of TP and the fate of the Bath End etc - would be great to get a response here from the Society/Club.
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Post by LB on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:05 am

Oliver makes some valid points.

I have never quite got my head around the idea of levelling the pitch and the implications for other parts of the ground, particularly the Bath end and the Popular Side. At one time I seem to recall that it was suggested that this would be achieved by lowering the pitch at the Bristol end a bit so that it didn’t have to be raised so much at the Bath end although it seems from what Oliver says that the plan now is to raise it at the Bath end to make it level. That seems logical otherwise surely the Bristol end would out of kilter as well. Whatever happens though, doesn’t it mean that the Popular Side won’t be level with the pitch anymore?

On the subject of the pitch, has it now been accepted that it will be 3G? Oliver makes reference to it, but there is no mention of it in the ‘High Level Summary’ in Marc’s first post.

Continuing Oliver’s theme, I wonder how much of a ‘consultation’ these events are actually going to be when the plans are due to be submitted in a few weeks time. If is has taken 2 years to get to this stage It is hard to envisage them being changed now on the whims of a few supporters.

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Post by Dusty Lynfield on Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:59 pm

Am a bit confused about this “for Society Members only” stuff - I’m assuming it’s just the 21st Feb consultation that is Society only? The final consultation will be in Charlie’s Bar before the Slough game, so will be there for all to see I assume.
As a season ticket holder (but not Community/Society member) I would like to see what the plans are and contribute if possible.
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Post by Dusty Lynfield on Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:02 pm

Just seen article on Chronicle website....question answered!
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Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:07 pm

Firstly, the pitch being a FIFA Quality Pro surface was accepted in an Bath Supporters Society (as major shareholder) EGM April last year.

Secondly, although the plans are due in a few weeks' time, there have been a series of consultations over the last two years not least two at the end of January where the pitch levelling was discussed.
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Post by OliverH on Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:29 pm

Sorry to be like a dog with a bone on this, Marc, but is it the case that once the plans go in, the fate of the Bath End / Popular Side etc is then decided (assuming those plans are approved)?

[I voted against 3G, but I must admit that I wasn't thinking about all this when I voted... I knew that 3G would mean somehow levelling the pitch, but I couldn't quite envisage how this would dramatically change the interior of Twerton Park, regardless of the other aspects of the redevelopment.]
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Post by BenE on Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:23 pm

You have made some very good points Oliver.

They highlight that people should be engaged with the process. I fear though that most are not.

It would be good if there was a decent turn out on 21st.

The FA look for a maximum slope of 1 in 41 across the pitch. This means that it could slope 1.45m from popular side to stand side. However most pitches are laid level so that they can be used for other sports.

I think the main drivers here are a) the need to dispose of excavated soil b) provide a level edge on the stand side.

There is a balancing act here. If you don't raise the pitch and hence the stand then you will actually need to excavate even more ground and produce even more spoil.
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Post by comrade powell on Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:20 pm

OliverH wrote:
Hence my question of whether this next meeting really is the last chance to have a say on the final layout of TP and the fate of the Bath End etc - would be great to get a response here from the Society/Club.

Sorry, Oliver, for a belated response from the Club but I needed to get something confirmed first. We plan to hold a meeting for all supporters where the designs for the new facilities will be displayed in large format for all to see and ask questions about. At this stage I'm not sure when such a meeting will be held but I'll liaise with the Board and advertise accordingly.

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Post by OliverH on Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:52 pm

Thanks Martin! That's very helpful.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:06 pm

Bumping this to reflect correct time.
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Post by tovid on Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:37 pm

Bit disappointed that things have not progressed one iota with regard the levelling of the pitch. I think we can safely conclude that the pitch will be levelled and this will necessitate raising the terracing on the Bath End. There will be a portion of the poplar side terracing lost as well. In effect quite a lot of the rest of the ground will be level with the pitch.

But the reality is we have got as much out of the scheme as we can possibly squeeze. We are going to have to compromise on what we start season 21-22 with. But that is a better place to be than what we are in now.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:20 am

I am not sure what “we are going to have to compromise what we start season 21-22 with” means.

Genuinely interested to hear all views from tonight
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Post by Dodgycarpet on Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:21 am

Ok .... Exactly how much money are we saving by redistributing the waste soil and how does this compare to the cost of losing the bath end (which is of course not just measured in £sd).
Plus at the Bristol end there's a couple of yards of no man's land between pitch and terrace such that the new pitch could be moved a bit in the Bristol direction. Has that been discussed anywhere?
I still come back to the point we're getting £7.5-8m revenue for the loss of 40? Car parking spaces. There must be a solution that avoids us ending up with an embarrassing bath end.



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Post by OliverH on Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:25 am

Also, is it possible for us to rebuild a terrace on the Bath end?
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Post by Jon_BOA on Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:07 am

One thing that came out of yesterdays meeting (to me anyway) is that there is a large amount of concern about the potential loss of Bath End & Popular Side terracing that I don't think many understood when the plastic pitch and redevelopment was first muted.

The club needs to ensure we don't end up with a lego main stand and a much reduced, crappy rest of the ground, as dodgycarpet points out the loss of Bath End terracing is measured in more than just £'s.

One of the main attractions to City is we're not a Chippenham, Hungerford, Poole, Concord etc., with a little noddy ground, but we have a ground that feels proper and has an actual "football vibe", rather than a Western League one man and his dog feel.

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Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:58 am

I've not been to any meeting but looking at the designs, the layout of the main stand looks really impressive. It's hard to tell what they expect the rest to be like, but if we end up with a Bath End which is all flat, smaller than now and no cover, it'll be a great shame. Would be good to see closer pictures of what they expect the rest to look like as opposed to just the stand. Maybe these were available at the meetings?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:10 pm

Jon, as you probably noticed, I had to leave last night before the discussion of the Bath End. What was the upshot of that discussion?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:12 pm

Mark, there has never been any plans to cover the Bath End. It’s one of those “could be done but would cost more money than we have” issues
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Post by Jon_BOA on Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:46 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:I've not been to any meeting but looking at the designs, the layout of the main stand looks really impressive. It's hard to tell what they expect the rest to be like, but if we end up with a Bath End which is all flat, smaller than now and no cover, it'll be a great shame. Would be good to see closer pictures of what they expect the rest to look like as opposed to just the stand. Maybe these were available at the meetings?

Agreed that on the whole I quite like the new main stand, I'd possibly tweak a few things, but then others wouldn't, as it is I like it, so would accept it. There were no pictures of the rest of the ground, other than a drawing from above showing where if the pitch was levelled to the highest point (e.g. the end by MoBQ) was the same height as the Bristol End "curve" how much of the Bath End & Popular Side terraces we'd lose, nb it's quite a lot/all of the Bath End.

Marc, it was discussed and it's fair to say everyone (or 99% at least) in the room agreed that keeping a proper, terraced Bath End and Popular Side were integral parts of the whole Twerton Park design/experience.

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