A COMMUNITY group hoping to secure the future of a well-used field has taken a step forward.

Residents and Wellington Mills Community Interest Group have submitted an application to Somerset County Council to turn the fields near Tonedale Mill, known as Fox’s Field, into a ‘town green’.

If the eight-acre site, with a market value of £80,000, is given the stamp by Somerset County Council, it will receive permanent protection from development.

Lindsay Birch, a nearby resident who lodged the application, said: “We are delighted that our application to have Fox’s Field made into a town green has passed its first major hurdle

“This is a much loved field, used for decades by local people and it would be catastrophic if this green space were to be built on.

“We are not there yet, but it’s a very big first hurdle we’ve got over. I would like to extend my thanks to Wellington Mills CIC for their invaluable support with the Town Green application.”

The community interest company supported Lindsay in compiling a complex file of maps and other evidence of long-term community use of the field which were needed for the application.

“We were delighted to be able to help Lindsay with a very complex and demanding application to the county council,” said Wellington Mills spokesman Keith Wheatley. “She’s done a fantastic job.”

READ MORE: Success for campaigners as well-used field is protected from development

An online petition opposing the sale of the land was formed after the company which owned the mill buildings decided to sell through estate agents Greenslade Taylor Hunt. It gained hundreds of signatures as plans to protect the fields moved forward.

The historic mill buildings have already been sold.

The application to the county council is the latest progress made by the passionate community, who earlier this year got the land registered with Taunton Deane Borough Council as a Asset of Community Value.