Families in Trowbridge are celebrating after Wiltshire Council refused a planning application to build on former tennis courts used as a playground by children for years.

The planning application for two four-bedroom detached homes on the land, referred to as The Circle by residents, in Clarendon Road was submitted by Ashford Homes South West.

However, residents argued that the land is regularly used by children in Clarendon Road, as well as those in nearby Green Lane and Paxcroft Way, and objected to the plans, with Trowbridge Town Council also opposed.

Wiltshire Council has now refused permission for the development, stating that it would result in the loss of an area of land that fulfils an important amenity and recreation function.

Resident Paul Adams said: “It’s incredibly important to us and the families who live in nearby roads, so while the decision could be appealed by Ashford, this is at least a first stage victory for sensible planning policy.

“The land is special to us and it has historic value as well and you can’t get rid of that. It’s a piece of land where we can let our kids go and play with other kids from the street, something you don’t get in modern housing estates.”

Another resident, Lyn Baron, said: “We are really pleased by the decision, but now we have to make sure it is secure for future generations. The threat of losing it brought the community together.”