THE FUTURE of Basingstoke's historic Camrose stadium will be decided next week.

A planning application to build a 70-bed care home on the site of the former home of Basingstoke Town FC will be heard by councillors on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's development control committee next Wednesday (September 23).

Civic chiefs are recommending that councillors approve the application, subject to a legal agreement being reached.

The plight of The Dragons, who were kicked out of their home last year, made national headlines since it was brought to light by fans and The Gazette, with famous faces such as Gary Lineker, Henry Winter and Jeff Stelling joining the cause.

As well as the care home, Basron, owned by former BTFC chief Rafi Razzak, want to build almost 90 apartments that one councillor has previously described as out of keeping with the area.


Whilst plans reveal that the care home will not be set on the pitch, instead replacing the Coral betting shop and club house that is in the car park, the area the planning application refers to does overlap with the playing area - which was dug up in January.

The access to the site, which will be served by the infamous 'Camrose link road' that Hampshire County Council are backing as part of improvements to nearby Brighton Hill roundabout, will be one of the few areas up for debate when it is considered.

It is an outline planning application, with all matters reserved except access, meaning that only the principle of development and access can be deciding factors in whether the committee decide to give the green light or not.

The Camrose stadium was left to the town as a gift by newspaper proprietor William Berry, first Viscount Camrose, in the 1950s.

A covenant was placed on the ground, which would have secured the use of the area as a sporting facility for 100 years. However, there is uncertainty over whether the document is still valid.

The plans have caused controversy as the club look for a new permanent home in the town.

Last season, the club were forced to play 15 miles away in Winchester, and whilst they are hoping to move into their new home at the Hampshire FA headquarters in Winklebury later this month, club officials and fans alike have claimed that it is not at the same standard as the Camrose.

Winklebury is currently being upgraded to Grade D, but just one promotion will see them looking elsewhere for a new stadium, as they would require facilities at Grade C.

The town's MP, Maria Miller, has backed calls for a two-stadium solution in the town, whilst council officials have continued to say that it should be Mr Razzak and Basron that have to pay.

The plans will be decided in a meeting of BDBC's development control committee on Wednesday, September 23, which starts at 6.30pm. You can watch the meeting at