A BID to tear down the Camrose to make way for housing has come in for strong criticism from a sporting body.

Sport England has objected to an application submitted by Basron Developments Ltd which seeks to change the home of football in Basingstoke for more than 77 years into houses.

The idea is to build 89 new homes on the Winchester Road site, of which 77 will be apartments, with 12 houses.

However, Sport England, which aims to provide sporting opportunities for people across the county, criticised the application.

The public body said even with Basingstoke Town Football Club’s (BTFC) potential move to the Hampshire FA site in Winklebury, the development at the Camrose would mean a loss of facilities.

Commenting on the application Sport England said: “Sport England contends that there is no indication within the [borough council’s] Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) that the development of the 3G pitch at Winklebury is identified as replacement provision for that being lost at Camrose.

“Further, there is no suggestion within the PPS that the pitch and facilities at Camrose are surplus to requirements and that there is an excess of playing field within the catchment which justifies the loss of playing field/pitches and associated facilities.”

Basingstoke Town community club said it is in the interest of all parties involved that the issues are resolved to assist the club’s proposed move to Winklebury

Terry Brown, Basingstoke Town community club chairman said: “The community club noted the Sport England objection was based upon the view that proper regard and adequate actions taken to replace the loss of amenity.

“We need upfront funding of a minimum of £150,000 for ground improvements at Winklebury to make that happen.”

Part of the Camrose land is to be used in a mooted £18.6m revamp of Brighton Hill Roundabout by Hampshire County Council.

South Ham ward councillor Gary Watts said: “I believe that this outline application is premature as the county council has not yet submitted formal planning application for the Brighton Hill roundabout/the access road through Camrose football ground.

“I do not believe a decision can be made until we know what the county are doing to improve the transport links in this area.”

To comment, go to planning.basingstoke.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for the reference 19/01110/OUT.