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Basingstoke Town fans secure protections for the Camrose ground

Earlier this month Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council agreed to list Basingstoke Town FC’s former home, the Camrose Stadium, as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), becoming the latest in a long list of football grounds that have received this protection.

An ACV is a “Community Right to Bid” and is part of a set of powers giving communities more control over what happens in their area and the important local amenities of value to them.

Rights are contained within the Localism Act 2011 which devolves power from government to communities, local authorities and individuals.

As we have reported on previously, the freehold of the club’s former home was bought by former chairman Razi Razzak in 2017, hoping to develop it for housing. Subsequent planning permission applications were refused, and the ground has sat empty while the club has effectively been homeless since the start of the 2019-20 season.

The ACV designation means that if Razzak wishes to sell the land, he must inform the council of his intention which gives the opportunity for the community, in this case the football club, six months to raise funds and prepare a bid.

Speaking to the Basingstoke Gazette Basingstoke Town chair Kevin White said: “It is good news. It hopefully shows that the council see the Camrose as an important asset to the town and the community.

“We need a long term home and ideally that is the Camrose. This is a massive step forward.

“It makes it incredibly difficult for developer (to do anything). That makes it a much less attractive plot of land – so open communication back up with us and we will see what we can do”.

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