Homes plan for football ground

New Brandon Park is now derelict
New Brandon Park is now derelict

HOMES look set to be built on the former Bellshilll Athletic ground in Hattonrigg Road - bringing a 10-year saga to an embarrassing end for North Lanarkshire Council.

The area has been an eyesore since the stadium was demolished, infuriating residents already angry that they’d lost a public football pitch and open space to make way for the Athletic development in the first place.

Now Barratt Homes has lodged an application for up to 80 houses on the site to add to the 100-plus homes built on adjoining ground as part of the deal with the football club in 2003.

Bellshill Athletic moved to Hattonrigg from their Brandon Park home after developer Stephen McGhee became involved with the club in 2001. He promised a new stadium with 1,000 seats as well as pitches for public use to compensate for the loss of the council-owned football park in Hattonrigg Road.

Although the stadium was built the rest of the complex wasn’t and when Mr McGhee quit Bellshill Athletic in 2009 the club were forced to play elsewhere. They are still without a home and on several occasions have been on the brink of folding.

The council was criticised for selling ground surrounding the stadium site as part of the deal with Athletic, with residents saying it was precious open space. This was then sold for housing.

The latest plans will be the subject of a public consultation event in April before the council makes a decision on the application.

More on this in the Bellshill Speaker, out now.