Campaigners are celebrating after winning their 14-year battle to protect a green space in Sheffield.
Lower Walkley Green, in Walkley, has been awarded village green status, safeguarding it against development.
Members of Sheffield Council’s licensing sub-committee made the decision last Tuesday, removing the spectre of building work hanging over the site since 2003.
Campaigner Kate Jeeves claimed it had been a hard-won victory.
She said: “People have been aggressive with us when we have tried to protect the land. That’s how we have come together as a group because the green was vulnerable.
“We are thrilled that we now have the village green status to protect it.”
Lower Walkley Green Residents’ Association had to prove to councillors that the land, between Walkley Bank Road and Woodview Road, had been used by a significant number of people for lawful sports and pastimes for at least 20 years.
It submitted evidence dating back to the time of the Second World War of the green being used for everything from picnics and football to sledging and even keeping poultry.
Councillor David Barker, who chaired the meeting, said: “We have to follow the law on these things, and this certainly was the right moral decision. It’s really pleasing they can meet the criteria and now we can protect the land forever.”
The land will now be owned by the council – its first owner since 1775, when it was in the Duke of Norfolk’s hands.
Campaigner Phil Walker said attention would now switch to looking after the green for future generations.