Southern League club Basingstoke Town get green light for new stadium after they had to leave their previous home after 70 years.
They were forced to leave the Camrose last year when its owner put the site up for sale, and since then the local gazette have launched a campaign, preventing it from being demolished to make way for housing a care home and a road.
In the meantime, the team has been using Winchester’s City Ground but are wanting to play matches at nearby Winklebury which currently does not yet meet FA standards.
The club said permission was “another obstacle removed to secure our future”.
The plans, which include a new club house, a covered stand, a covered terrace and turnstiles, would bring the ground up to FA grade C standard – equivalent to the Camrose.
A statement on the club website said: “This is huge news for us as it’s another obstacle removed to secure our future as a football club.
“Winklebury represents the best immediate solution for survival, avoiding a financially unsustainable ground share out of the borough for the whole of next season.”
The club previously said it needed to carry out a minimum of grade D improvements, costing £150,000, to bring Winklebury up to standard for its current league level.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire FA, which is based at Winklebury, had already been in discussions about funding improvements at the site for the benefit of football at all levels.
The campaign to save the Camrose has so far had 1,501 signatures, if you want to help, click HERE.
Fans gave their reaction as the Southern League club Basingstoke Town get green light for new stadium…
Good news! Keep things moving @BasingstokeGov
— Steve Jackson ? (@phs6swj) February 18, 2020
Great news! ????
— Tim Marr (@rseka1979) February 19, 2020
If we're being pragmatic the short term aim must be to get the club playing at Winklebury ASAP.
A return to the Camrose is a long term goal, and whilst the club/community should continue to pursue this option it is unlikely to happen this season or next.
— David J Bowman (@davidjb1988) February 19, 2020
Yeah but not the camrose is it! Let’s get it back!
— Charlie (@charleswake) February 18, 2020
Flying high up in the sky, we keep the blue flag flying high. From the C̶a̶m̶r̶o̶s̶e̶ Winklebury Sports Complex to anywhere, we'll keep the blue flag flying high!
— David Macintosh (@dmacintosh1) February 18, 2020