RESIDENTS of Ilton are celebrating after a new playing field for the village was secured.

For years, youngsters in the village have been forced to play on a small patch of land with some football nets as there was no other green space in the village.

But now, thanks to the AH Warren Trust, a new 14-acre field behind the back of the village hall has been bought, and will help provide both the young and old with a new recreation ground.

It brings an end to a six-year project as parish councillors and residents sought a new field for the village, after the lack of a playing field was first identified in 2006 Ilton Parish Plan.

As well as the new field, there are plans to develop a multi-use games area, more football pitches, outdoor gym equipment, wooded area and dog walking space, plus car parking and disabled access.

Lee Hart, chairman of Ilton Parish Council, has spearheaded the campaign, said he was delighted the field would soon be in use.

He said: "It's been a long time coming.

"The patch of land we had was just a small field with football nets in, and it wasn't fit for purpose really, for football or any other sort of recreational game, but it was quite well used.

"We had been trying to find another piece of land for a long time, but then the AH Warren Trust offered us this one.

"This is thanks largely to Warren Cooke, who put this together and approached us, and helped the parish council hold various consultations and all the residents think it's great, and have positively reinforced it."

Now, after the agreement for the new field was signed, councillors and developers will also look into how to create a drainage system to try and alleviate flooding concerns.

Cllr Hart said the new field was even better news for the village as there are set to be more housing developments constructed in the near future.

He said: "It's amazing.

"We are getting some more housing going up and that's going to help maintain the level of council tax of Ilton, which will help us maintain the funding for the field and other projects.

"This is quite a significant project, and we're delighted it's now officially been signed off."