Hundreds support campaign to win back village green

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MORE than 350 people have got behind a campaign to try and wrest a field back from a property developer.

Judy Newell is spearheading a bid to get Stokesmead in Alverstoke, Gosport, back for public use – possibly as a village green.

A public meeting has been called so campaigners can find out what people want to see on the site, owned by Abbeyfield Homes.

She said: ‘The more support we can drum up the better.

‘We have no opinion as to how we see the piece of land – that is up to the people coming to the meeting.

‘It’s an issue that is uppermost in people’s minds.’

As reported, the Anglesey Conservation Group has launched the campaign after previous bids failed.

More than 350 people signed an expression of interest in seeing something done on the now-overgrown field.

It is between Little Anglesey Road and Clayhall Road in Alverstoke.

Abbey Homes has tried to win permission to build homes on the site three times but was refused by the planning inspector each time.

The firm wants to swap the field for Gosport Borough Council-owned land where it could build homes – but the council has refused to do this.

Ward member and council leader Mark Hook said: ‘It doesn’t work like that.

‘We’ll be quite happy at looking at buying the piece of land at open space rate.’

He added the authority does not want to see homes built.

‘This was always going to be open space and we will continue to resist any application,’ he said.

Cllr Hook will be at the public meeting next week along with other politicians.

David Maber was chairman of Alverstoke Village Residents’ Association when he led a previous campaign to win back the field.

He said: ‘We wanted it for the public. We wanted to get it back as a village green.’

Mr Maber is offering campaigners help. ‘I wish them well,’ he added.

Campaigners tried to get the field opened up for residents to play sports on in summer 2012.

The firm says it does not respond to requests from The News to comment on the situation.

The head of Abbey Homes will not attend the meeting.

The meeting is at 7pm at St Mary’s Church Alverstoke on Wednesday. For more see