Residents working to reclaim their village green threatened by development have agreed a price to bring the land back into community use.

It will cost £55,000 to buy the land off Broadhurst Grove from the current owner after it was sold at auction. This figure includes legal fees, and campaigners are now urging the public to donate.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the piece of land in the Lychpit cul-de-sac had been maintained by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for decades after the estate was built.

But a council error meant that the section 52 agreement which would have seen BDBC adopt the land was never enforced, leading to the developer selling off the land at auction.

It has since been resold and residents have now been able to agree a price with the current owner which would see it taken back.

Resident Sheena Grassi says the owner, who bought it for £8,500, has asked for £45,000, with another £10,000 being added on to the fundraising target for legal and insurance fees.

She is now asking for the public to help raise the funds to allow the green to be brought back into use for the community.

Speaking to The Gazette, the recently co-opted councillor said: "Even if it is just a few pounds, everything really counts and we have got a really good solicitor and he is looking after all that side for us.

"I would like people to see what we have done as a really positive thing after the pandemic.

"Our community came together and worked hard together even though the situation is pretty dire, with the coronavirus etc.

"It was an awful time for us, our health was under theatre and so was our home and our environment. But we came together and worked together.

"I know it is a very difficult time for everybody financially.

"If they are able to give that would be great, but if they are not able to it, we are going to take them along with us.

"It is a beautiful area, for the animals and for us, it is a great place to live and we just want to protect the area we live in."

Cllr Grassi was first alerted to the situation in April 2020, right at the start of the first Covid lockdown, when 73 cars passed through the quiet cul-de-sac in a couple of days.

Since then, she and other residents have been tirelessly campaigning to get the land back.

They were dealt a bitter blow in March when the council admitted that the error meant the section 52 agreement was unenforceable.

"I was pursuing the owners of the land just to get them to think 'well actually they are serious about this, they really want it back'," Cllr Grassi continued.

"It has been a very strong community spirit that has driven this all the way through.

"Had it not been for the rest of the community, we would not have got as far as we have now."

When it is brought back into community use, Cllr Grassi says that it would be for the use of the community, including for events on the green.

You can donate to the fundraiser via GoFundMe here.