Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Basingstoke football club running out of options for new stadium

Basingstoke Town FC home ground Image copyright Scriniary
Image caption The club attracts up to 700 fans to home games at The Camrose

Football club owners have been forced back to the drawing board after the final option for a new stadium fell through.

Basingstoke Town FC (BTFC) is looking for a new home after councillors refused a £10m development.

The non-league club was told there was no council-owned land suitable for relocation and started searching elsewhere.

Football bosses had set their hopes on "Plan B" which is no longer possible.

It comes after the announcement club chairman Rafi Razzak is leaving.

Last year Mr Razzak announced plans to end his financial support for the club and said he wanted to recover his loans through the redevelopment of the current stadium site.

A statement from BTFC said they could not stay at their current stadium, The Camrose in Western Way, as it was "no longer economically or practicably feasible".

The club had hoped to build a 5,000-capacity ground and training facility at the town's Old Oak Common and submitted plans to the council last year.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council denied planning permission after strong opposition from local residents concerned over loss of open space and the impact on wildlife.

'Few options'

After the refusal, BTFC bosses looked at their alternative option at Winklebury football site, currently occupied by Hampshire Football Association.

The club thought this would be an "ideal compromise" but could not reach an agreement with Hampshire FA, who has recently put in proposals to the council to expand their site.

Mr Razzak said: "We are now left with few options and anything we do from now will only involve ourselves. It's very sad indeed."

Communities councillor Simon Bound said he was concerned for the future of the club but "surprised" there was a pressing deadline from the club to leave the Camrose stadium.

The BTFC statement said they would continue to develop plans for a contingency site and give updates when further information was available.

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