BASINGSTOKE'S MP is calling on the council to ensure a like-for-like replacement for the Camrose is agreed before any development goes ahead.

Maria Miller has asked that a replacement sports ground for Basingstoke Town Football Club is assured. 

It comes as the Camrose stadium, on Winchester Road, is subjected to two planning applications.

Hampshire Highways is seeking permission to build a road throughthe heart of the historic football ground, gifted to the town of Basingstoke in the 1950s by philanthorpist Lord William Camrose. 

While Basron Developers, owned by former Basingstoke Town chief executive Rafi Razzak, is hoping to turn the site into a housing development of 70+ homes.

Speaking ahead of Hampshire County Council's meeting to discuss the project to build a road through the site on Thursday, July 2, Maria said she wishes to be clear that the formal planning objection made by Sport England needs to be resolved in full before this road project moves forward.

Maria said: “Sport England has been clear from the start of this lengthy process that the owners of the Camrose ground have to make up for its loss before any redevelopment of the grounds can start.

"It was regrettable that the owners of the Camrose grounds decided to stop football being played there well before a new home for the team could be found.

"Now the owners of the ground need to do the right thing and put in place a legal undertaking to pay for the team to move to a new and suitably fitted out location.” 

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council said: “We continue to work with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council through the planning system to ensure that extra sports facilities are part of the planning agreement. 

"We have no intention of progressing construction, other than some initial clearance, until planning permission is granted that would protect Sport England’s interests and ensure the sports facilities that the community want, will be built.” 

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England said in a letter to local MP Maria Miller: “Until this agreement and the club’s needs are satisfied Sport England will continue to maintain our objection to planning proposals on the Camrose site and seek to secure mitigation for the loss of playing fields at Camrose Stadium.”

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