A GREEN space at the heart of a village community could be saved from development after Wiltshire Council agreed to grant it extra protection.

It comes after a councillor applied to have Rudloe village green and community centre made assets of community value (ACV).

ACV status has been granted for the green space but not the community centre.

This means the Rudloe community have six months to put together a bid to buy it.

Derek Walters, the Liberal Democrat Wiltshire councillor for Corsham Without who submitted the application, says the centre was not given ACV status because it has not been used enough recently.

Councillor Phil Alford, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for housing, strategic assets and asset transfer previously said the council took back possession of the community centre after the trustees operating it could no longer continue its use.

Since then, they have marketed it to third parties as a community facility, but no viable proposals have been received.

The application was submitted earlier this year because villagers feared the green was going to be turned into houses, after Wiltshire Council announced it was selling off its share of the land.

The community centre was built for £750,000 in 2002, and closed in 2017, not as a result of lack of use, says the applicants, "but due to management issues".

A working group has now been set up within Box Parish Council to explore the council's possible acquisition of the green, as well as future maintenance.

Cllr Walters said: "There are a lot of people there who feel very strongly about this issue. 

"Box Parish Council were not doing anything for Rudloe, but this is something positive, and I am now looking for a compromised solution with GreenSquareAccord [the housing association who own some of the land]."

Wiltshire Council has been in talks with a GSA over the redevelopment, and has offered assurances that 'reprovision' of green space will be a condition of approval.

In its decision, Wiltshire Council said: "The Green is currently used for such recreational activities as playing football, cricket and rounders and has also held fetes, Jubilee celebrations and firework displays, where the community can come together.

"It is therefore considered that the current use of the building or other land furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and it is realistic to think that now or in the next five years there could continue to be use which will further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community."