BASINGSTOKE Town Football Club has implored council leaders to ensure a "two stadium approach" when deciding mitigation surrounding a planning application on the Camrose.

Terry Brown and Kevin White have written to three senior councillors saying that the club's former owner Rafi Razzak should pay for a second like-for-like stadium before his plan to build a care home and 89 houses on the site of the Camrose ground is approved.

They say that focusing the club's future solely on the Hampshire FA base at Winklebury Football Complex is "wholly inappropriate", labelling it as "not a replacement facility".

As previously reported, Mr Razzak's company Basron, who owns the freehold to the Camrose stadium, has two planning applications submitted to redevelop the former home of the football club. In addition, Hampshire County Council want to build a link road to ease traffic around Brighton Hill roundabout.

Currently, Sport England, Basron and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council are negotiating section 106 mitigation for the development - which is how the applicant will repay the community for the loss of facilities.

There has been much debate about what this will include, and whether Winklebury would be a suitable replacement to the Camrose.

Now, Mr Brown and Mr White have written to leader of the council Cllr Ken Rhatigan, deputy leader Cllr Simon Bound and cabinet member for borough development and improvement, Cllr Rebecca Bean, asking the council to ensure these section 106 mitigations facilitate a two stadium approach in the town.

The letter reads: "Not being party to any s106 discussions, but having seen the reported figures in question, we believe that the true like for like requirements should be upheld which will support the council's long held view of promoting sport and recreation in our fantastic town."

It comes after the Gazette reported how Sport England put a price tag in excess of £600,000 on the facility.

They cite the council's own Horizon 2050 document, which sets out the council's ambitions for how the borough will look by that year. It was adopted in February 2019.

The community club continue to say: "In our considered view, the potential loss of the Camrose stadium without a properly funded replacement or a relevant plan runs counter to the spirit and intention of Horizon 2050, just one year after the publication of that document.

"It is especially the case as Horizon 2050 states 'These [strengthened health facilities] will be complemented by outstanding sports, leisure, cultural and community facilities that will be accessible to all'.

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"With a suggested population of 235,000 or 248,000 by 2050, the extra demand for all aspects of football, the town's leading sports activity, will be significantly increased.

"Council support for the two stadium status quo would help develop the type of foundations that Horizon 2050 calls for.

"We fully appreciate the investment of £150,000 for the benefit of the wider football community at Winklebury, providing at the same time a lifeline for us.

"However, as a community club, we have a duty too to support the longer term benefits of retaining two stadiums.

"Recognising the need for two stadiums in the town allows s106 mitigation by Basron to focus more readily on the cost of a new replacement stadium providing equivalent or better facility, in line with [National Planning Policy Framework] paragraph 97, Sport England policy and Council Policy CN8."

They add the Winklebury currently has its own community commitments, and cannot meet the full needs of the club.

"We want to be able to deliver football to the whole town and beyond. The Camrose with the football club run in the correct way, with the correct people, with the correct motivation would have satisfied growth of football and sport in the town like we could never imagine.

"That has been taken away from the town and it is only right that the town, and as a by-product, our community club and sport in general, should have a legitimate replacement.