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Basingstoke Town FC to stop fighting Camrose development plans

By Steve Charnock
25 May 2022
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Basingstoke Town Football Club have opted against continuing their legal fight to stop the Camrose Stadium being redeveloped into housing.

Much to the disappointment of fans, the club have made the decision in order to avoid the possibility of future-threatening legal fees. It's understandable, but still a blow to both club executives and supporters alike.

The 'stoke occupied the site for more than 70 years before former owner Rafi Razzak and his company Basron decided to sell off the land for accommodation. The club had been fighting against the borough council’s development control committee, but an inspector's recent decision to side with the developer seems to have tipped the balance.

The Hampshire side have effectively been left homeless since Razzak evicted them, spending the past few seasons first at Winchester City's home ground and more recently at the FA Winklebury Sports Complex back in Basingstoke.

Steve Frangou, the former Basingstoke Town player and youth coach, said this about the news: “It is bitterly disappointing the whole outcome, but I do understand why the club is not taking it to the High Court, especially due to the costs that would come into effect. This is money that could be well spent on other projects. I am bitterly disappointed there is not going to be any national campaign.”

There is some light at the end of the tunnel, however. And some real hope. The Camrose has, this week, been declared an ‘Asset of Community Value' by a first-tier tribunal. This could see the club and ground eventually reunited.

The definition of an Asset of Community Value is ‘a building or other land whose main use has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future’.

Jack Miller, Basingstoke Town's Chairman is buoyant: “This is a real opportunity for the Community Club and the community of Basingstoke, including the Council, to work together and ensure that the Community Club can have a home; one that it can grow and thrive in, and the town as a whole has the football stadium that it previously enjoyed and still very much deserves."

"This decision reaffirms what we all know, that The Camrose is a true community asset."

So while the football club won't take the case to the High Court, there may still be a chance of The Dragons playing at The Camrose once again.

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