Residents campaigning to have a field at Bosvale in Falmouth designated as a village green, which would stymie plans to build apartments for the elderly on the site, have won the support of town councillors.

Last summer, Kathryn Philpott, acting on behalf of local residents, applied to Cornwall Council to have the land added to the register of town and village greens claiming the area had been used as an asset by the community for more than 20 years.

The move came after the Rotary Club of Falmouth and the Abbeyfield Society revealed plans to build 75 apartments for the elderly and a new community centre for the Bosvale |Community Association on the land.

The Rotary Club, which bought the three acres of land in the mid 1970s, said it was to donate it to Abbeyfield on the proviso it develop it for its “extra care facility.”

Residents, though, immediately started a petition which quickly gained over 250 signatures from people who wanted to “save the field”. The application for “village green” status is now being consulted upon with Cornwall Council accepting comments until February 14.

Falmouth’s finance and general purposes committee debated it last week when members agreed to support the application.

Councillor Trish Minson said: “As a resident of that area I know how much that field is used, the residents do rely on it for a lot of things. Small children can play away from the road and you can exercise your dog on there.

“With all the building going on, it’s the only bit of green we have got left so I would like to support this application. It’s not a pretty area by any means and probably needs some looking after.

“We used to hold fetes on there, we have not done that for a while as a community, but there is evidence it was used for the community over a considerable number of years.”

Councillor Alan Jewell added: “It is quite right that we should support this to safeguard that piece of open space because open spaces do give people a better way of life.”