HAMPSHIRE County Council are set to drop plans to build a link road through a historic football ground in Basingstoke, it has been confirmed to The Gazette.

The authority had been planning to build a link road between Western Way and Winchester Road as part of upgrades to Brighton Hill roundabout.

But their plans were thrown up in the air after redevelopment of the Camrose ground was rejected by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's Development Control committee in September.

Now, the council has confirmed that they are proceeding with a report looking at options of upgrading the congested roundabout without the link road and with Western Way remaining open.

The report will be presented to Cllr Rob Humby, the council's executive member for economy, transport and environment, next month.

It marks an apparent U-turn after the council called the road “a key component” of the £20 million works back in July.

Cllr Humby, who is also the authority's deputy leader, said: “A report is due to come to me for consideration in December with proposals to move forward with this scheme following our last consultation, and importantly also on the basis that the Camrose link road is not going ahead at this time, and therefore that the Western Way arm will remain fully open onto the new roundabout.

"The report will also cover a revised programme for the scheme and the next steps to finalising the detailed design prior to construction."

The news was welcomed by Labour councillor and Brighton Hill South representative Cllr Andy McCormick, who said: "If they are going to keep Western Way open then it will take a hit in terms of traffic but it means that there is every possibility that the football club can go back to the Camrose which good news.

"On the whole it is probably going to be a better thing for the residents of South Ham but there might be a bit of a hit on the traffic throughput."

He said that he still had concerns over the council's plans to replace the subways with surface traffic-light controlled crossings at gradient, adding: "This thing isn't going to be cheap, but it is important that we get that aspect of it right."

Work had been due to begin on the works to the notorious roundabout this year, but they were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Civic chiefs also want to avoid two major sets of road works in Basingstoke at the same time, meaning it is unlikely any work will start on Brighton Hill roundabout until the ongoing works at Thornycroft are completed next year.