Future of Doncaster’s Belle Vue to be decided

Belle  Vue,  The old Doncaster Rovers Ground
Belle Vue, The old Doncaster Rovers Ground

Councillors are set to discuss the future of the site of Doncaster Rovers’ former Belle Vue ground at a meeting today.

Planning chiefs at Doncaster Council will meet at 2pm this afternoon to decide on the fate of the pitch which saw Rovers football icons from Alick Jeffrey to Ian Snodin entertain the crowds through good times and bad.

Council officers are recommending that plans to build 151 homes on the site get the go-ahead.

It should finally bring to an end years of wrangling over the future of the site.

Rovers left Belle Vue in 2006, after 84 years there.

But complicated talks had to be held over the site which was owned by Doncaster Council, but leased to a private company.

Rovers fan club official Paul Mayfield said the site would always hold a sentimental place in fans’ hearts.

But he says they accept it is time for it to be redeveloped.

He said: “I think I will be pleased to see it developed now. There is no chance of football ever being played there again. Now it is time it stopped being an eyesore.”

The 8.85 acre Belle Vue site was home to Doncaster Rovers from the 1920s.

It was one of the first grounds to have floodlights, which were installed after the FA lifted the ban on matches being played under floodlights in 1950.

At one time the pitch was the biggest in the Football League, measuring 119 by 79 yards, although manager Billy Bremner reduced the size of the pitch in 1981.

The last match at Belle Vue was a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest, on December 23, 2006, with Rovers’ defender Theo Streete scoring in a 1-0 win. It was the last goal at the venue.

The venue is now earmarked by Barratt Homes for houses and flats, on a new residential estate.