Home 2017-18 News Today’s Basingstoke Gazette

Today’s Basingstoke Gazette

Should the council buy the Camrose to keep it as a leisure facility for the town

The Camrose

The Camrose

DECISIONS on the future of the Basingstoke Town need to made quickly if the club is to survive.

It will be discussed by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on Wednesday (6.30pm), where they will consider a report from portfolio holder councillor Simon Bound.

Town fans are strongly being urged to attend and it is hoped the issue does not become a political football.

The major stumbling block for Basingstoke Town, is they no longer own their ground and could be thrown out at any moment.

This has left the brand new board of the recently formed community club having to work with one arm tied behind their back, due to the situation.

This is because Basron whose directors are Town owner Rafi Razzak and Malcolm McPhail brought the land the ground stands on last year for £2.4 million.

They want to develop it and when they apply for planning permission, the Dragons will no option but to cease playing at the Camrose, their home for over 70 years.

It is a sorry state of affairs and this is despite the fact that when Lord Camrose gave the ground to the people of Basingstoke to use for sport in 1953, he included a covenant to run to this effect until 2052.

The Gazette has seen the land registry documents of the sale of the site and it states it contains a covenant from 1953.

This means the council are the tenants with a lease and Basron the landlords.

Trying to invoke the covenant would involve a lengthy and costly legal battle, with the outcome unsure, which is a great shame, as the Camrose was meant to be a sporting venue for the people of Basingstoke for 100 years.

As was deemed last year, there are no sites in the borough to build a new football ground, so the ideal solution would be for the council to buy the site to preserve it as leisure facility for the town.

Chairman of the community club, Alan Turvey said: “The situation facing the club is truly pressing. Without a decision giving the security of a home, the question of continued survival gets more and more difficult.”

“By working actively and positively in partnership with all interested others, it should be possible to find a way forward that is within the council’s power, at no financial cost to the taxpayer and yields benefits for the community.”

Finally, Turvey strongly urged those interested in the club’s future to attend Wednesday’s meeting to show their support for the survival of Basingstoke Town.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. A town the size of Basingstoke needs it,s own football ground. If there is a covenant on the ground until 2052 then how can the ground have been sold?

    • Sorry, for the delay in replying, but your email went into our spam folder.
      To answer your question, there are currently two schools of thought.
      Firstly, the club and a lot of Supporters believe that, unless Camrose Estates stated that the covenant should remain when they sold the land to Basron Holdings, then the Freeholder has no restriction over the land and the covenant is therefore removed.
      Secondly, a few fans believe that the wording in the covenant, will stipulate that under no circumstances can the land be sold for other usage until 2052.
      The problem is, no-one can find a copy of the covenant and any such challenge to what Basron (Mr Razzak) believe, would cost a lot of money in a possible court battle. Both sides state that they have lawyers to back their case, but whether this will go to court depends on if anyone can find the covenant.
      I hope this is some sort of help but it is far from clear.
      Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.
      Martin French..

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