THE CAMPAIGN to turn fields near the centre of Dursley into an official village green - and therefore protect them from a proposed housing development - has been boosted.

Protest group, Defend Dursley’s Green Escarpment (DDGE), applied to have fields off of Hardings Drive, on the edge of Cockshoot Wood and Wesfield Wood, turned into a designated space for walkers and families in December 2013.

The move was in reaction to pre-submission plans sent out by Dursley planning consultants Mark Snook Planning on behalf of landowner Colin Clutterbuck, who hopes to build 69 houses on the steep hill.

At a Dursley Town Council meeting last week, the local authority voted unanimously to support the village green application, thereby putting weight on the idea the area was an asset to the community.

Joint chairman of DDGE and Garden Suburb resident, Keith Andrews, 66, went to the meeting with around 20 other supporters of the village green and said he was delighted the council was behind them.

He was there to put forward the group’s case that the area has been used “as of right” for over 20 years for numerous activities by the public.

“DDGE members are absolutely delighted to receive support from the council which will be vital to the future of their campaign,” he said.

“There now follows a six-week period in the process, when members of the public may write to Gloucester Law Services to express their views on the application.”

If Gloucestershire County Council accepts the land can be giving village green status, the proposed plans would effectively be halted.

Village greens have protected status and are usually areas of land within communities where local people can go to exercise, play sport and pass time.

These can include organised or ad-hoc games, picnics, fetes and other similar activities.

Whilst land forming town or village greens may be privately owned, many greens are owned and maintained by local parish or community councils.

Some greens may also have rights of common over them, meaning livestock can graze there.

Dursley Town Council clerk Helen Bojaniwska said the application was a complicated legal process and would take time.

“We had representations from the public and the decision was based on that they obviously used the fields as of right for years,” she said.

“There wasn’t much debate to be honest.”

The reference number for the application is JKS/51942.

Mark Snook Planning declined to comment.