CAMPAIGNERS hoping to ‘save’ a green space from development are appealing for last-minute evidence to support an application to turn it into a village green.

Barnard Castle Town Council made the application for Bede Kirk, the copse outside the town’s former police station, last summer following the force’s move to the new multi-million pound hub in the town centre.

It came as Durham Constabulary put the land up for sale, with Railway Housing Association hoping to develop it.

Since then residents have been campaigning and submitting evidence to prove the 1.36-acre site has always been used as a village green.

However, Durham County Council has recommend the application for refusal.

In her report, Helen Lynch, the council’s head of legal and democratic services, said there was not enough evidence to suggest a “significant” amount of people used the site and a continuous 20-year use could not be proved from the seven supporting letters received.

Now both the town council and residents are calling on anyone with evidence of use between 1997 and 2017, to come forward.

Examples of children and families playing, pic-nicking, dog walking, ball games and Frisbee throwing, radio controlled car racing or impromptu performances are particularly being sought.

Mayor, Councillor Sandra Moorhouse, said: “If you have photos or memories to share, please add them to the post on our Facebook page or bring them to the office at Woodleigh in person.

“We know local people want to save the Bede Kirk green, but without more evidence that lots of people have used it for the last 20 years, Durham will refuse the application and the land will be built on.”

Residents, Sophie Ebeling and David Stacey, who launched a petition to ‘save’ the space said a large group planned to attend the 9.30am meeting, at County Hall, on Friday, in the hope of persuading councillors to vote in favour of the application.

Mr Stacey, who will speak for residents, said: “There is a depth of feeling people have for this green space; it’s very precious to everyone.”

He added: “A lot of people feel it’s a done deal behind closed doors.”

Ms Lynch assured residents the decision would be made by the highways committee after considering the evidence.

She added: “The interested parties have been advised that they will have an opportunity to address the committee before it reaches a decision should they wish.”