CAMPAIGNERS have won a two year battle after halting the sale of a recreation ground in Vange.

The Vange Community Group, led by Phil Jacobs, have put together a business plan to save the Kent View Recreation ground from being sold off for housing.

Basildon Council had planned to sell of the land in Kent View Road to build about 70 homes to help fund the £38million Sporting Village.

Campaigners and Tony Ball, the leader of Basildon Council, held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the news.

Mr Jacobs said he was "elated and very happy" at the outcome but said he knows there is a lot of hard work ahead.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon, was very happy with the news.

He added: “I have had numerous meetings with both residents and the council and been consistent in my view that this was an inappropriate development that would have an adverse impact on the area.”

“My aim was always for the council and the residents to keep an open mind about the future of the site. I was pleased that the council said that if the situation changed then their decision to develop the site could change. "I am therefore pleased that the situation has changed and that they have found away to save this important local facility.”

“I believe that this has been made possible by the council sourcing alternative funding for the Sporting Village and a proposal from local residents, whereby they have agreed to take responsibility for the running and maintenance of the recreation ground.”

“The plans will now be submitted for detailed scrutiny by council officers to ensure that they are robust and financially viable and I would like to congratulate both local residents and the Council for coming to what on the face of it appears to be a sensible compromise that will see the recreation ground saved.”

"I wish the Vange Community Group every success with their plans and offer my support to them as they take on this exciting and ambitious venture.”