Next week on Wednesday night after years in the making, the planning application to build 85 news homes on the Camrose football ground will be voted on.

Planning officer Sue Tarvit, of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, has recommended councillors approve the plans, submitted by Basron Developers.

However, the decision is not for the unelected public servants to decide. The outcome lies with the twelve publicly-elected councillors who sit on the development control committee.

Today, the Gazette publicly calls upon these councillors to vote NO to building on the Camrose. We say councillors must uphold the conditions previously argued by Sport England and listen to the thousands of residents who are fiercely against these proposals.

We go one step further and urge the council to make a compulsory purchase order of the Camrose to bring it back into the control of the community, if it is unable to obtain the £5million required from the landowner in compensation for the loss of the sports facility. The council has the money but needs will to restore it to its full potential as a community asset.

Our councillors play a very different role to local government servants who make up the council’s planning team.

We must remember that while the taxpayer pays the salaries of Basingstoke’s planning department, such civic chiefs are not electable or accountable to the public in the same way.

As a newspaper, we cannot fathom why the council’s planning officers are hell-bent on turning this concrete nightmare into a reality by ridding the town of this vital sports facility.

In its own manifesto, the council purports to want to tackle climate change and has set itself ambitious targets to become carbon neural by 2025.

Constructing a busy new road through the heart of a residential area, filling the lungs of future generations with petrol fumes, is a peculiar decision. Residents will rightly question if town hall chiefs have their interests or the developers in their minds.

We can only imagine that those in jobs funded by the taxpayer feel secure at making such decisions as they do not have to answer to the public, as our elected politicians do.

Of course, it helps if those public servants don’t live in Basingstoke.

According to to his public LinkedIn profile, the planning development manager Michael Townsend, and Sue Tarvit’s boss, lives in Reading.

In which case, he will not understand why residents are emotionally attached to the Camrose - a site that was gifted to the town by philanthropist Lord Camrose after the second world war.

He will not understand the incandescent rage from the public that Lord Camrose’s covenant, which intended to protect the space until 2053, has been disregarded and deceivingly omitted from conversations.

He will not understand why 2,500 residents have signed petitions, calling for - at the very least - a like-for-like stadium to mitigate the loss of this important sports facility.

He will not understand why the residents of Mansfield Road don’t want to breathe in polluted and diesel-sodden air as the result of a new planned road through the legendary football ground.

No, Michael Townsend and his office might not understand. But we hope the twelve councillors who live and represent our communities do.

And we hope these individuals will cast their vote with the public in mind on Wednesday. That’s why we have written to Cllrs Paul Miller, Anne Court, Dave George, David Leeks, Nicholas Robinson, Sven Godesen, Jane Frankum, Stephanie Grant, Andrew McCormick, Michael Bound, David Potter and Chris Tomblin to ask them to make the right decision.

Because we have a simple message - history is watching. The town is watching. We are watching.

The story of the Camrose scandal as it has come to be known has now extended far beyond Basingstoke with Gary Lineker, TalkSport and the BBC all paying close attention.

A football stadium is far more than just a place to kick a ball about. It is an escape from the stresses of every day life. It is a goal for young people in the borough. It is a place our town becomes synonymous with. It is a place that we can all be proud of, football fan or not.

We say that robbing the town of a sporting facility at a time when we’re encouraged to be more active sends the wrong message to the children of today, many of whom would have used or visited The Camrose if they were just a few years older.

Whatever has happened in the past, councillors next Wednesday have the opportunity to right the wrongs of previous generations.

Only they can stop this scandal from continuing and save our town the embarrassment of having an authority that places profits above its people.