Residents of a small cul-de-sac have teamed together to try to prevent the clearing an area of green space that has been protected since their homes were built.

People living in Comfort Wartha in Constantine held a protest this week after workers arrived to clear some of the green space.

The cul-de-sac was built by Crownmark Developments more than 30 years ago and when planning permission was originally granted a Section 52 order was placed on the area of public open space to prevent it from being developed in future.

People living in the homes have since used the area for their children to play in and have communal gatherings.

Crownmark have since applied to build a home on the space but whilst being granted planning permission have been unable to get the Section 52 order lifted.

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On Thursday residents said gardening staff turned up to clear some of the site, raising concerns amongst them.

They challenged them but were told that they had been employed to clear some overgrown areas and brambles - however, residents claim more than that was cleared. As a result they decided that they would hold a protest to try and prevent any further work being undertaken.

Phil Wilkinson, one of the residents of Comfort Wartha, said: “That open space has been there since the 1990s. The developer tried to get the Section 52 order lifted claiming that it was not being used, but we have been able to show that it is used.

“It is used by local residents as it is a safe area for children to play in, right in front of our houses. If they wanted to go to the local park they would have to go a bit of a distance and cross a busy road.

“The area is also home to a lot of wildlife, we know there are deer there and believe there are bats and foxes as well. We want to protect it from being developed.”

Mr Wilkinson said that he contacted Cornwall Council to ask about the Section 52 order and check that it was still in place and says he was told that it was still in force. He said that he had asked the council to take action to prevent any further work on the land.

Tom Kok, another resident, said he was pleased to see so much support for Friday's protest.

“It was really surprising to see lots of people from across the village coming to support us. I woke up just before 7am and wondered what all the voices were that I could hear and I looked outside and saw people with banners and everything. It was good to see,” he said.

Mr Kok said that residents had been backed in their fight to protect the land by local Cornwall councillor John Bastin and local MP George Eustice and said they would be speaking with them again to get their support.

Cornwall Council has been asked to comment.

Planning permission for development on the land was won on appeal in 2021.

At the time planning inspector G Roberts said: "The land has not been formally laid out or maintained as public open space. As a consequence, the appeal site remains in private ownership and any access to it has been on an informal basis and at the discretion of the landowner."

The inspector said that the new development of a house included a financial contribution of £10,000 (index linked) to be paid before anyone moved in, which would be spent on improvements to Constantine Recreation Ground.

"I consider that the financial contribution included within the Deed would secure an appropriate level of replacement provision for the loss of the existing open space," added the inspector.

However, he stressed that the validity and enforceability of the Section 52 condition was not the subject of the appeal, adding: "It is not, therefore, a matter that is before me to determine."