The chairman of Basingstoke Town Community Football Club has said he is "disappointed but not surprised" after Basron submitted an appeal over the council's decision to refuse planning permission to redevelop the Camrose.

Rafi Razzak's company submitted the appeal to the Planning Inspector last week, just a week before the deadline to do so.

Councillors rejected plans to turn the historic stadium, gifted to the town by newspaper proprietor Lord Camrose, into a housing estate and care home.

They said the loss of the ground had not been mitigated properly, with one councillor claiming it would split the club up across the borough.

Now, Kevin White, chairman of the community club, has spoken out about his disappointment after the Basron appeal.

"You’d think with all the recent coverage, the overwhelming public support and the ongoing campaign that this option would have been taken off the table, but it’s what was expected to happen," he told The Gazette.

"It’s now down to the Planning Inspector and hopefully they will look at why the council originally rejected the planning and support it, which in our view, is unquestionably correct."

The news comes three weeks after Mr Razzak also appealed against the authority's decision to list the stadium as an asset of community value.

The Camrose was gifted to the town by newspaper proprietor William Berry in the 1950s.

Last February, this newspaper discovered a historic covenant stating that football should be played on the ground until 2053.

The decision to reject the two planning applications was taken in September 2020, with councillors citing policies CN8, EM1 and EM10 of the authority's local plan.

Councillors, led by Conservative Nick Robinson and independent Paul Harvey, unanimously backed refusal of the applications. They argued that the plans to mitigate for the loss of the Camrose failed council policy as it did not provide "equivalent or better" facilities "in terms of quality, quantity and accessibility".

The council's planning team is now forced to argue to the Planning Inspector that the decision to reject the plans was the right one, despite recommending that councillors approve the applications in September.