Witnesses for the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) and the Basingstoke Town Community Football Club (BTCFC) presented their statements before the planning inspector on the first day of the appeal hearing to decide on the future of Camrose ground.

Tim Dawes, a planning director at Planit Consulting, was the witness for the council, while Colin Stoker, former player and manager and current vice-chairman of the club, was the first witness for the BTCFC.

The counsel for the appellant party, Basron Development Ltd., cross-examined Mr Dawes.

The cross-examination of Mr Stoker will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22.

The planning inspector Dominic Young started the hearing by explaining the process and the run-of-order.

Mr Young explained that he has not visited the Camrose Stadium yet, but added that he would most likely do so on Friday, March 25.

The hearing started with Simon Bird, the appellant counsel, making his opening statement.

This was followed by opening statements from William Webster, the counsel for BTCFC, and Ruchi Parekh, the counsel for the BDBC.

The first day of the hearing also saw Steve Frangou, one of the five members of the group 'The Case FOR the Camrose Stadium', making his opening statement, explaining why the appeal should be refused.

This was followed by the witness statement by Mr Dawes.

The cross-examination by Mr Bird for Mr Dawes was long and elaborate, as the counsel questioned him on his arguments that the club has more restrictions at Winklebury compared to Camrose.

From the questions, Mr Bird tried to point out that the BTCFC does not have any control over the Camrose ground, and all the facilities will be provided at the replacement ground.

The witness statement by Mr Stoker, started by him showing the planning inspector a recent photograph of the matchday and how the spectators were struggling to catch a good view of the game, despite the ground not being at full capacity.

The cross-examination of Mr Stoker will resume on the second day of the appeal hearing.

To read a more detailed update, visit our live blog during the time of the hearing.

There will be another live blog on the second day of the hearing.

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