The Camrose football ground has been a feature in the heart of Basingstoke for more than 70 years. 

It was gifted to Basingstoke Town Football Club and rented at a peppercorn rate after the Second World War, by wealthy landowner and newspaper magnate Lord William Berry, Viscount Camrose. 

After the football club was evicted from its home in August 2019, the current landowner Basron Developers has submitted planning to redevelop the land into housing. 

Tomorrow, twelve councillors on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's development control committee will either vote to approve or reject the applications.

Ahead of tomorrow's meeting, we take a look at the history of the Camrose stadium. 

  • 1946 - The current Camrose ground was built and a covenant was signed by Lord William Berry, the Viscount Camrose.
  • 1948 - Lord Camrose sold a section of this land to the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to develop housing.
  • 1953 -A covenant for the Camrose football ground was extended which states that the land must be used as a football ground for the next 100 years.
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  • 1953 - Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council bought 30 per cent of the Camrose land from Lord Camrose to use for housing development. 
    Andover Advertiser: Map of the boundaries (2020)Map of the boundaries (2020)
  • 1991 - Fast forward 40 years, businessman, Rafi Razzak, became the new chairman of the BTFC in May, a position he held for 25 years.
  •  2016 -It is announced that the freehold to the Camrose football ground has been bought by IT company, Centerprise, owned by Mr Razzak.
  • 2017 - Less than 12 months later after this purchase, Mr Razzak steps down as chairman for the BTFC in May after rumours began to circulate about his plans for the football ground.
  • 2017 - A full council meeting with the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (BDBC) was held on April 25 which is when the first mention of a ‘lost covenant’ was announced as the councillors started to look for a new home for the football club. The council agreed Mr Razzak could develop the land as long as a like-for-like stadium is made. Council tells public covenant ‘can’t be found’. It was decided that Winklebury be used as a temporary ground.
  •  2018 - Basron Developments Ltd, a company also owned by Mr. Razzak, produced a leaflet outlining their intentions to build on the Camrose.
  • 2019 - In May the council approved the outlined plans for Basron to demolish the ground and use it for housing with the addition of a hotel and fast food restaurant.
  • 2019 - In August, BTFC was evicted from the Camrose ground before the start of the next season.
  • 2019 - A revised plan for the developments on the ground was submitted to the council for 89 properties and a further application for a care home to be added and remove the plans for the fast-food restaurant and the hotel.
  •  2019 - An estimated figure of £250,000 is needed to develop the Winklebury stadium by Basron Ltd, however after the inspectors had been to assess the ground this figure came back requiring £750,000.
  •  Jan 2020 - Planning has not been approved but Mr. Razzak gave the go ahead for the ground to be dug up, claiming that they were just “re-seeding the grass.”
  • Feb 2020 - The "long lost" covenant that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's legal team could not find was unearthed by the Gazette, raising questions around the morality of building on ground intended to be a football pitch.

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  • Feb 2020 - The Gazette launches a petition to bring the town home and save the Camrose ground. As of September 2020, over 1,000 people have signed it.
  • Feb 2020 - A council motion is passed calling on the authority to do its "upmost" to bring the club home.
  • May 2020 - Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council object to Hampshire County Council plans to build a road through the Camrose, citing Sport England's objections.
  • May 2020 - Sport England say that Basron must pay more than £600,000 in compensation for the loss of the Camrose ground, if they want planning permission approved.
  • June 2020 - The Gazette reveals that fans that had shares in Basingstoke Town Ltd, the company that owned the football club, could have stopped their eviction from the Camrose. Mr Razzak denied the claims.
  • June 2020 - The Gazette reveals that two fans were pressured in selling their shares in the club back to Rafi Razzak. Mr Razzak said the claims were "not true"
  • July 2020 - Maria Miller backs the Gazette campaign to ensure that the club have a second, like-for-like stadium before redevelopment at the Camrose goes ahead.
  • July 2020 - Plans to build a link road through the Camrose ground is approved.
  • July 2020 - Lifelong Basingstoke Town fan, Jim Gould, tells the Gazette that Mr Razzak "duped" him into thinking his shares in the club were worthless and selling them back to him.
  • September 2020 - The Gazette calls for councillors to reject planning applications on the Camrose ground.