The council has upheld its decision to list the Camrose stadium as an asset of community value, after former club chairman Rafi Razzak appealed the decision.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council made the decision earlier this year after an application from the community club.

It afforded the site extra protections, meaning that Basron cannot sell the stadium without first giving the community six months to buy it.

But Mr Razzak, whose company Basron owns the land and the stadium, submitted an appeal to the council against the decision.

Today (April 15), the council has confirmed that his appeal has been dismissed and the decision has been upheld.

It means the stadium will have ACV status for the next five years.

BDBC's head of law and governance, Fiona Thomsen, said in her decision that "community use remains a realistic possibility", "given there is an active campaign group and planning permission has not yet been secured for the redevelopment of the site".

Mr Razzak and his company Basingstoke Town Limited had asked the council to review the listing as "it is argued that it is not realistic to consider that the stadium will further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community".

His solicitors, Phillips, had written to the council stating that a return to the Camrose would be "against [the community club's] interests" as it has moved to Winklebury Sports Complex.

It added that it would be "against the interests of the local community to seek to divert funds and efforts from the facility at Winklebury", and that the amount of funding needed to make the Camrose viable for community use "is not and will not be available".

The letter added: "The open market value for the stadium far exceeds a level which is feasible for a communtiy interest group to contemplate and fund carrying the costs.

"The financial viability of the club at the stadium has been proven over many years to be unsustainable and the continued existence of the club has occurred due to the generosity of its benefactors.

"The sad reality is that notwithstanding the population size of Basingstoke, it is a proven fact that over many years the community is not and has not supported in sufficient numbers at a financially sustainable level the playing of football that necessitates the continued existence of the stadium."

But Ms Thomsen said she was "unable to specualte on the outcome of the planning appeal" and it was "realisitic to think that one may resuilt in future non-ancillary community use".

She continued: "Given there is an active campaign group and planning permission has not yet been secured for the redevelopment of the site, my view is that community use remains a realistic possibility and I am therefore upholding the listing of the site as an asset of community value."

Mr Razzak now has 28 days where he can appeal again, this time to a First Tier Tribunal.

Two decisions by councillors to reject planning applications on the site have also been appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Club chairman Kevin White said: "This is a victory for our community and sport in general. We're really pleased that the Council have backed the decision which is undoubtedly the correct one.

"It seems ridiculous that it was even challenged in the first place, so we're pleased to have it out of the way.

"I've no doubt Lord Camrose would be raising a glass to this decision - but our work doesn't stop here, we've still got plenty of work to do but today is a good moment for the club, our supporters, the borough and sporting venues up and down the country."

What is an asset of community value (ACV)?

According to My Community, a website created by 12 leading community support organisations, an ACV forms a part of the community right to bid.

It acts as the first stage in identifying and nominating buildings or other assets such as land that have a main use or purpose of furthering the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, and could do so into the future.

Once listed as Assets of Community Value with the local authority, the local community will be informed if they are listed for sale within the five year listing period. The community can then enact the Community Right to Bid, which gives them a moratorium period of six months to determine if they can raise the finance to purchase the asset.

An Asset of Community Value is defined as: A building or other land is an asset of community value if its main use has recently been or is presently used to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could do so in the future. The Localism Act states that ‘social interests’ include cultural, recreational and sporting interests.

Assets will remain on the list for at least five years. If the council decides that the nomination doesn’t meet the criteria, then they must write to the group who nominated the asset and provide an explanation. They must also keep a list of unsuccessful nominations for at least five years. Landowners can ask local authorities to review the inclusion of an asset on the list, and this triggers an appeal to an independent body, called a First Tier Tribunal.