As reported by The Gazette on June 26, councillors on the borough council’s decision-making cabinet gave the green light to a legal agreement with the football club for the sale of land needed to build a new 5,124-capacity stadium at Old Common Road, in Eastrop and for the council’s 29 per cent share of the club’s current stadium at The Camrose.
This was despite concerns raised by Eastrop borough councillors, Gavin James and Stuart Parker and residents from the area.
But the decision, made on June 24, will now be assessed by the borough council’s scrutiny committee on Wednesday evening after Labour councillors Laura James, Mark Taylor and Gary Watts, Independent member Martin Biermann and Liberal Democrat members Gavin James and Stuart Parker appealed the decision by using the “call-in” process.
The borough council’s “call-in” process means that the scrutiny committee will now have the option to approve the decision made, ask the cabinet to reconsider the decision, refer the issue to full council for further debate or ask that more work is done by officers on the project.
Liberal Democrat group leader and ward councillor for Eastrop, Gavin James hopes the borough council’s cabinet will reconsider its decision and look at alternative sites including the Basingstoke Leisure Park.
He told The Gazette: “They have got the view that we can go straight into a public consultation and sign a 150-year lease without thinking about the impact on local residents and without any care at all.
“If you look at what we (the borough council) have done in terms of housing, we have done lots of studies and research to get to where we are with the Local Plan.
“We have been elected by the residents and it should be down to the council to decide where is best, not the football club.”
Chairman of Basingstoke Town FC, Rafi Razzak, said that he is “very hopeful” that the plans will go ahead despite the consideration on the decision.