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