DONCASTER Rovers’ former Belle Vue stadium site is set to be sold off to developers by Christmas.
Doncaster Council’s cabinet has now backed a preferred bidder for a deal on the Bawtry Road site which has stood idle since Rovers moved out the Keepmoat Stadium at the end of 2006.
The decision was made at a meeting behind closed doors at Mansion House.
Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: “Cabinet has approved a preferred bidder to purchase the Belle Vue site which should see this prime gateway site overlooking our world famous racecourse redeveloped.
“This is excellent news for Doncaster. It shows developers continue to see the potential in the town, it will deliver new housing, jobs and boost our economy.
“Subject to a 10 day ‘call in’ period, we expect conditional contracts to be exchanged before Christmas and this would see the preferred bidder submit a planning application early in the New Year.”
The 8.85 acre site has been left to become overgrown since Rovers left, with thick undergrowth and trees now on the site.
The main grandstand was demolished following a gas explosion shortly after the club left.
The site was put on the market nine months ago .
It has been described in the past as a prime piece of potential housing land in one of the prime sites in the borough, on one of the main routes into Doncaster and close to the racecourse.
Plans were initially drawn up to develop housing on the site four years ago.
They included high rise blocks of flats.
But they were put on hold because of the fall in the housing market, and opposition from residents living near the site.
It is understood none of the houses to be built on the site would be more than three storeys high.
Mike Clynch, architect for Westferry, described the site earlier this year as a fantastic frontage.
He said: “There are not many sites in the country with that kind of aspect overlooking the racecourse and with such proximity to leisure facilities. It’s the best housing site in South Yorkshire.”
The Belle Vue site was home to Doncaster Rovers from the 1920s and some of the club’s greatest players, such as Alick Jeffrey and Ian Snodin, played for the club while it was based there.