AN APPLICATION to protect Sully Sports Fields from future housing development by awarding it village green status has been recommended for refusal.

An inquiry into the application was heard at the Vale council offices at the end of January, after around 80 residents provided evidence to support the land’s protection.

The move had faced resistance from the land’s owners, Sully Sports and Social Club, who argued that granting the status would jeopardise their sporting activities.

To be awarded village green status, Sully and Lavernock Community Council and the Saving Sully Group, who had submitted the application, were required to prove residents had a longstanding recreational association with the land in question.

Nineteen people gave evidence in support of the move during the hearing, arguing the fields were used by dog walkers and for other leisure activities.

But their arguments were rejected by the inspector, who determined that there was insufficient evidence of regular recreational activities taking place, as well as pointing out that dog walking was actually forbidden on the fields.

The inspector’s recommendations have now been passed to the Vale council, who will make a final decision on the proposal later this month.

Sully Community Council submitted the village green application in 2016, shortly after a proposal for 200 new homes on part of the land was put forward by housing developers St Modwen PLC.

That submission was ultimately rejected by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, however many residents fear that without village green status, further housebuilding applications are now inevitable.

Fred Johnson, secretary of the Sully Sports and Social Club, welcomed the recommendation.

On the topic of housebuilding, Mr Johnson said: “The club has not entered into any discussions since the refusal as to what will happen in the future.”

The matter will go before the council on April 17.