Haverhill Town Council has agreed to formally request that a belt of woodland on the edge of the town be listed as an asset of community value - offering a boost to hopes for the creation of a new country park.
Town councillors unanimously voted to take the move during their full meeting on Tuesday (June 23) after hearing an argument put forward by Ian Johnson.
Mr Johnson, who lives off Roman Way, has long campaigned on behalf of 350 people for a country park to be included in the North East Haverhill development.
The park has been included in proposed modifications to the borough council’s Vision 2031 documents - the master plan for future developments in the borough - following a public inquiry last February.
Mr Johnson urged councillors on Tuesday to support a proposal to create a 30 hectare (74 acre) extension to East Town Park, specifically by having a 24.7acre area of land listed as an asset of community value.
He told the meeting: “At present a 20 hectare (49 acre) buffer zone between Calford Green and Haverhill is in the Vision 2031 and has potential for a country park, linking with East Town Park, but would need a further field of 10 hectares added to it.
“To date we have failed to get St Edmundsbury to accept those 30 hectares as a designated green area, alongside the 2,500 extra houses.
“We had been seeking the additional ten hectares be designated as an asset of community value, however it will not meet the strict criteria relating to previous community use.”
Mr Johnson said the green lane that runs alongside the rear of the Wilsey estate and borders the two sides of the ten hectare field could meet the criteria as it is extensively used by the public for walking and running.
Having the land listed would, said Mr Johnson: “Protect it from sale for five years with the community being given the opportunity to acquire it and eventually achieve the 30 hectare extension to East Town Park.”