The council has not yet been able to determine why a parcel of land it had been maintaining for four decades had not been transferred to its ownership.

As previously reported, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council acknowledged that an error meant the village green off Broadhurst Grove was not transferred from the developer to the authority.

It failed to enact a section 52 agreement, a legal agreement between a planning authority and developer, that would have seen it transferred to the council once the estate was constructed.

This came despite the fact that the council had been cutting the grass and maintaining the land for four decades.

It resulted in the developer selling it off for auction during the first lockdown and the piece of land threatened with development.

BDBC set up a task force in March to investigate why this happened and to identify any other instances where the same mistake happened.

But three months later, and the authority say they are still "unable to establish" why the s52 agreement did not take place.

The Gazette asked BDBC whether the task force, which will also share lessons learnt with neighbouring authorities including Winchester City Council, has found other situations where an s52 agreement was enacted, and to provide details.

A spokesperson said that it would "take some time" to do this, adding: "We [are] looking into section 52 planning agreements under which land should have been transferred to us as open space in the borough.

"Due to the nature of work involved, looking back into legal agreements and maintenance arrangements over decades, this will take some time to complete.

"This followed the issue with land at Broadhurst Grove coming to light where a legal transfer of land we had been maintaining as open space had not been completed 40 years ago.

"We have been unable to establish why this did not happen."

The mistake is likely to prove costly - residents are currently fundraising £55,000 to cover the price of the land, as well as legal costs.

They have launched a fundraiser and you can find full details here.