BASINGSTOKE and Deane Borough Council have rejected suggestions it should step in and buy the Camrose ground, saying it has "limited resources" because of the Covid-19 crisis.

The council, which own around 30 per cent of the land at the former home of Basingstoke Town FC, has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to step in and put an end to the current saga.

In recent years, the club has been kicked out of its home and three planning applications submitted on the site.

Several councillors and fans of the club have called on them to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order for the site, to use it as a community facility.

However, when The Gazette asked whether BDBC are considering stepping in, or have in the past, a spokesperson simply replied: "No we haven't considered it and aren't considering buying the Camrose."

Cllr Rebecca Bean, cabinet member responsible for sport in the borough, said: "The focus of our support to sport in our community is through grants to help local organisations meet local needs, enabling people to take part in activity and stay health.

"Over the last five years, significant investment has been made in sports facilities across the borough to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.

"The council has limited resources, which have been further impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which must be directed to support the continued provision of essential services.

"It would not be appropriate to allocate multi-millions of pounds of public money to the current owner, rather than the owner providing what is a football facility under private ownership.

"Hampshire County Council has already agreed that they may compulsorily purchase part of the land there, which would compromise its use in the future.

“The council will continue to work with partners, the Hampshire Football Association and the current owners. We want to see the mitigation as specified by Sport England for the Camrose secured through the planning process.”