A HISTORIC document protecting Basingstoke Town Football Club’s ground from being built on has been unearthed by the Gazette.

The public had previously been told the Camrose covenant, which expires in 2053, was missing or had been lost.

It was put in place to stop the Winchester Road site from being redeveloped. Signed by Lord Camrose in 1953, it was set to expire in 2053.

The paperwork was long rumoured to have been missing with the public told at a meeting in 2017 it had gone awry.

However the Gazette has obtained a copy of the original document, signed in 1953, which states the Camrose must remain as a sports ground.

This will raise questions about whether the current owner Rafi Razzak is right to build on the land.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Kevin White, the director of Basingstoke Town Football Club, said he was ‘shocked’ and questioned what this means for the team’s future. They were evicted from the grounds in August 2019 and are currently playing their matches in Winchester while the Camrose lays empty.

Following the news, the club issued a statement on Thursday afternoon (February 6).

It reads: "We’ve been made aware of today’s front page news by our friends at the Basingstoke Gazette regarding the unearthing of the Camrose Covenant.

We will be working closely with the Gazette and a legal team over the coming days to determine our next steps and the implications this has on the future of our club.

"We will of course be making further comment as this develops.

The news does, however, highlight the dire struggles and frustrations the club has been facing at the hands of others as we try to move forward as a community club. We welcome the attention that our club is rightfully receiving and together we will ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring a successful and sustainable future.

"Our squad remain focussed on another important fixture at ‘home’ on Saturday. This is the time to truly get behind your team and your club.

"We’ll be sure to keep everyone updated with our progress."

What do you think? Send us your thoughts to newsdesk@basingstokegazette.co.uk