SCARBOROUGH Council is planning to carry out an extensive dig at the site of the former McCain Stadium to rid it of collectable bottles buried there, it has been revealed.
The site, which was mothballed in 2007, has been plagued by trespassing treasure hunters hoping to unearth a fortune.
Cllr Tom Fox, speaking at Monday’s meeting of the council, gave councillors a progress report on what was planned for the site.
He said that the Seamer Road stadium was on the site of a former bottling plant and Victorian bottles could still be found buried there.
Cllr Fox said that the site would be dug for bottles and once cleared signs would be placed there informing treasure hunters that they would not find anything.
He added: “The information will be posted on appropriate bottle diggers websites.”
Cllr Fox said that, because of concerns over vandalism at the Seamer Road football ground the decision had been taken to demolish it – and the dig for bottles would take place after the stands had been levelled. He said: “Featherstone Rovers will demolish the stands. It will be taken down to ground level as rubble making the site safer.”
Cllr Fox added that as part of the deal two of the stands would be transferred to the rugby league club’s home ground. However the decision to demolish the Seamer Road site will not lead to its immediate redevelopment.
Football was first played at the town’s Athletic ground in 1898 but has remained derelict since June 2007, when the old Scarborough FC went out of business. During the past four years vandals have blighted the stadium, with arsonists and trespassers regularly breaking into the ground, while last year confidential player records were discovered in the empty ground’s offices.
The council bought the ground for £1.335 million in 2008 but safety concerns ended any hope of football returning to the site.
In his statement he said that planning briefs for a proposed sports village for Scarborough had been prepared and members of the public were currently being consulted for their views and that the council was in discussions with all six bidders. He said: “All have proven track records in delivering similar projects nationally.”
Cllr Fox said that they would be advised of the standards required for the various facilities and they would be invited to outline more detailed plans.
Earlier this year Scarborough Council bosses revealed plans for a new 2,000 capacity football stadium on the former Weaponness Valley coach park.
The ground would be the base for a multi-million pound cutting edge sports complex in the town complete with a 25-metre, eight-lane, swimming pool.
There would also be a sports centre comprising an indoor hall, fitness suite, activity studio and squash courts.
The redevelopment of the Filey Road Sports Centre and Seamer Road Football Stadium will not take place until such a time that the development of the Weaponness site has been completed.
A report into the proposed work, which could begin next year, shows the base capacity for the new stadium – built to Football Association Grade C standard – set at 1,950 people with provision to extend to 3,000 in future seasons.
The ground would feature a covered area for 500 fans, seating for 250 supporters with ﬂoodlighting and a hi-tech third generation playing surface.
Once built the new ground would signal a return of football to the town – Scarborough Athletic currently play their home matches in Bridlington.