NEWS that councillors have rejected planning applications to build on the Camrose have been welcomed by Basingstoke Town Football Club.

First team coach Dan Brownlie, 32, told The Gazette: “I feel buoyed by this, it was so nice to hear people speak so passionately against it.

“We all know this is morally wrong but it was nice to see it come to the fore tonight."

Dan welcomed Cllr Andrew McCormick’s comments about being against developing the site because it is an area of cultural importance.

He said: “It would make sense to me [to place a cultural protection on the ground] as that would protect is better than the covenant.

“When you look at historical heritage sites, the reason they are given this status is because they are popular places that are important to the community.

“There might be the assumption a site of heritage or cultural importance site needs to be ancient but at some stage you need to protect what’s in front of you for the greater good of the community and the community’s future.

“I’d be all for labelling it a cultural area if that would protect it.”

“This is a site of modern day importance and cultural significance. Football is such a big sport, this stadium was gifted and protected for the purpose of a being a sports facility. It should be protected at all costs.”

The football coach, who works in marketing, said he wholeheartedly welcomed the refusal by the councillors and praised them for listening to the community. 

But he added: “The big thing for me is to make sure that this issue isn't just kicking a can down the road. This can’t just be a statement piece or a way to say, ‘well, we tried’, if it goes to appeal. The power is still in their hands.”

“We have some good people on the council but overall, I don’t know who is in charge of this mess but it feels like it should never have got this far. One of the councillors said they had let the club down.” He said it was nice to hear that acknowledgement.