PLANNING DELAYS AT THE CAMROSE PUT BACK FUNDING FOR TOWN’S MOVE TO WINKLEBURY
While things on the pitch have been going from strength to strength, behind the scenes there has been alot of continuing work to get Basingstoke Town Community Football Club into their new home at the Winklebury Sports Complex, the base of Hampshire FA.
Kevin White, Board Member of the Community Club, told a public meeting in August that he hoped the club would be in Winklebury by the end of 2019. Sadly, this is not going to be achieved because of delays in the Camrose planning application submitted by Rafi Razzak’s development company, Basron. Kevin White is now able to report that Basron have been advised that they need to make amendments to their original planning application, and they have now also made a new, further planning application for a Residential Care Home. This means that the Community Club are at the mercy of the planning procedures.
Kevin explained ‘Currently, we will not get a penny of funding for the necessary ground improvements at Winklebury, rightly due from Basron, until they achieve Planning Permission on the Camrose site. Basron had previously stated that they were confident planning approval for the first Camrose phase was expected in August or September although that now continues to be pushed back. Had that happened, that would have released an initial tranche of money which would have allowed a start on the upgrades at Winklebury’
Recently the Club had a positive meeting with an official from the Southern League to essentially give a finalised ‘tick list’ for a Grade C ‘like for like’ ground improvements to the same level as the Camrose.
With all this in mind, Club Chairman Terry Brown has just finalised an extension to the club’s ground share agreement with Winchester City until the end of January as another precaution against further delay. ‘Winchester City have been fantastic with us so far this season.’ Terry said ‘I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Winchester City and their staff for allowing us to continue to play.
The Community Club Board continues to press Basron hard for upfront funding to make Winklebury happen as quickly as possible at this vital juncture, Terry Brown confirmed that the aim now was to give regular updates on the drive to make Winklebury happen as both the planning and financial issues are robustly pursued.