In May 2023, Bath Rugby Club made public their plans to build a new stadium on the current Recreation Ground, on a riverside site close to the centre of the town. In August 2023, disappointed by how poorly these proposals responded to their context or to the historic and World Heritage Site of Bath, an architectural firm with strong Bath links, Appolodorus, proposed an alternative more architecturally classical vision.
In August 2023, Create Streets commissioned Deltapoll to survey public views on the two proposals using a carefully controlled visual preference survey. Deltapoll surveyed a representative sample of 1,061 British adults. The results were:
• A very clear public preference for the more traditional design. The British public overwhelmingly preferred the more place-specific and traditional design by 74 per cent to 26 per cent.
• A preference that transcends politics… Voters for all three main British parties strongly preferred the more traditional design with Labour voters being closes to the national average (80 vs 20 per cent for Conservative voters; 74vs 26 per cent for Labour voters and 59 versus 41 per cent for Lib Dem voters).
• … a preference that transcends views on Europe… Views on the design from “remain” and “leave” voters were almost identical. (75 vs 25 per cent for “remain” voters and 77 vs 23 per cent for “leave” voters).
• … a preference that is shared by rich and poor… Those of ABC1 social status and of C2DE social status have nearly identical views on the design. (73 vs. 27 per cent for ABC1 and 74 vs. 26 per cent for C2DE).
• … a preference that is shared everywhere… With the partial exception of Welsh residents (who preferred the traditional design even more strongly than others, respondents in every British region had nearly identical levels of preference for the more traditional design).
• … and by old and young. Clear majorities of all age groups preferred the more traditional design though with a clearly growing preference by age. (84 vs 16 per cent for those aged over 65 and 61 vs. 39 per cent for those aged 18-24).
More details of the survey are available here