SPORTSDESK COMMENT with Daniel Gregory: Chelsea anniversary highlights the need for Weaponness answers

Do you share Daniel's frustrations? Email him daniel.gregory@jpress.co.uk or Tweet him @mrdanielgregory
Do you share Daniel's frustrations? Email him daniel.gregory@jpress.co.uk or Tweet him @mrdanielgregory
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While it was great to re-live the memories of our town’s big FA Cup tie against Chelsea at the old Athletic Ground last week, it brought more frustrations to the fore for me.

Seeing pictures of the likes of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Emmanuel Petit and Eidur Gudjohnsen gracing the Athletic Ground just highlights how dreadful the sporting landscape in Scarborough is looking at present.

Weaponness Valley Road car and coach park, as seen from Olivers Mount.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  112067h  20/05/11

Weaponness Valley Road car and coach park, as seen from Olivers Mount. Picture by Andrew Higgins 112067h 20/05/11

Whether you blame the string of Scarborough FC owners or Scarborough Borough Council for the demise of the Seamer Road ground, we’re all united in wanting more clarity and transparency on the mooted Weaponness Leisure Village project.

The Council have seriously set themselves up for a major fall with the ridiculously optimistic timescales they gave us around a year ago.

SBC were hoping to ‘break ground’ by the end of 2013, with the stadium supposed to be ready for the early stages of the 2014/15 football season, if not the start.

Where are we now?

We keep being drip fed little bits of positive news that seem to be keeping the Scarborough Athletic supporters happy, but this week when I tried to get clarification on the status of the project, I was sent what can best be described as vague.

Instead of breaking ground as they suggested, SBC are still reviewing draft agreements and are set to issue a 10-day Alcatel stand still notice, as required by EU law.

According to Hilary Jones, SBC’s deputy chief executive, once these have been read over, they will “enter in to the agreements that will seal the conditional delivery of the leisure village.”

There are rumours of a huge gaping hole in the financials of the project as the price of the land that developer Wrenbridge will receive as part of the deal to provide the facility has apparently plummeted.

These unclear statements only go to add to the discontent among many in the town regarding the project.

There are many cynical people in town who will doubt SBC’s ability and willingness to fulfil their promise to bring a football stadium and top sporting facilities back to the town, and who can blame them?

We’re getting very few answers and all these serious questions come before the potential problems that the planning process could provide.

Will the people of Weaponness be more than willing to see a huge increase in the amount of traffic and footfall into the area?

Would they want the floodlights on at night outside their house and the noise of people playing sport and pulling in and out of the facility?

There will be few who want to see a good sporting facility come to town more than us covering the town’s sport for The Scarborough News.

Scarborough’s sporting community, including Boro fans, deserve much better.

I asked SBC for clarification that the facility will not be delivered to the timescales they so optimistically gave us at the start of 2013.

I received no reply to my request.