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Big step forward for Basingstoke Town's stadium plan
A MILESTONE is set to be reached in Basingstoke Town’s bid to relocate to a new stadium.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has agreed terms with the football club for the sale of land needed to build a new 5,124-capacity stadium in Eastrop, and for the council’s 29 per cent share of the club’s current stadium at The Camrose.
If the scheme goes ahead, the local authority will receive £935,000.
Members of the borough council’s decision-making cabinet are set to support proposals for the new £7.5m stadium and the deal for the sale of the council-owned land off Old Common Road at a meeting on Tuesday.
Hoping for cabinet and public support for the plans, Basingstoke Town FC chairman Rafi Razzak said: “It will be a great landmark to build a new stadium in Basingstoke.
“It is something we have been looking forward to and it will mean the football club will be looked after for the next 100 years, with no impact or cost to the taxpayer.”
The move to the new purpose-built stadium would be funded through the sale of the current ground, in South Ham, which is being lined up as an out-of-town retail park.
As part of the agreement, a number of conditions have been placed on the sale, including terms which state that the borough council will retain the freehold of the Old Common Road site, the new stadium must be built before the council sells its share of The Camrose, and the 230-space car park at the new site can be used as a drop-off point for the Costello School to avoid heavy traffic on London Road.
In addition, the football club has agreed to put aside 20 per cent of the profit made from the scheme into a fund for five years to ensure the financial stability of the club.
An all-weather pitch is also set to be built in the grounds of neighbouring Costello School, in Crossborough Hill, which will be used by both the football club and pupils at the school.
Borough council leader Councillor Clive Sanders told The Gazette: “Since the last decision, we have been negotiating with the football club to make sure we got a proper consideration for the value of land at both places, and that’s where we have got to at this stage.
“We can confirm the agreement to sell it but that has to be subject to the public being in agreement that it is the right thing to do.”
Basingstoke Town FC chairman Rafi Razzak added: “It will be a great landmark to build a new stadium in Basingstoke."
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