A campaign group has been set up to fight proposals to build more than 1,000 houses on a former North Staffordshire golf course.
The Save Our Green Space Facebook page has 350 members just a week after being set up and more than 1,250 people have signed a petition.
Organisers are calling for the former municipal golf course in Keele to be kept as a public open space for the health and wellbeing of the people of Newcastle-under-Lyme rather than sold off to housing developers.
They say the future of the Keele golf course site will be the first test for a new Government policy, designed to protect the countryside.
“This will be the litmus test that tells us whether the Government was telling the truth on August 1”, said Save Our Green Space spokesperson John Wright. “Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, was quite specific when he said that places in the green belt will be protected from development.
“So here we have a Conservative-controlled borough council, in a constituency with a Conservative MP, who should be looking to implement a clear-cut policy from a Conservative cabinet minister.
“The golf course is in the green belt so the decision not to build houses on it would seem to be straightforward.
“Nevertheless, as part of the Joint Local Plan, Newcastle Borough Council is proposing to build houses on the site even though the area already has plenty of land for housing.”
The action group is calling on people to share their photos and memories of using the land as well as details of any wildlife they’ve encountered to demonstrate why the land should be preserved as a community asset for future generations.
The site includes 200 acres of tree-studded countryside separating the mining village of Silverdale from the university village of Keele.
Development on the former golf course forms part of plans for a ‘Keele University Growth Corridor’. Council leaders have previously said that the plans would give a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy.