CAMPAIGNERS said they will not back down in their fight to save an open space from development... as council bosses agreed to pay £25k on assessing what could be built on it.

Basildon Council has agreed to draft in consultants to carry out feasibility studies on land at Gibraltar Walk, in Wickford.

But campaigners say they will do all they can to block any plans for the site.

Yvonne Child, editor of Wickford Save Open Space, said: “I think it’s just ridiculous and the money could be better spent else where.

“The council is not listening to what the residents want.

“They are just ignoring us and I don’t think it’s too much to ask to keep it as open space.

“We are still fighting development at the site and are not giving up on this.”

The 65-year-old added: “We will be doing everything we can to stop plans at this open space. We have got so little green space in Wickford and it needs to be kept as open space.

“The roads around this space are far too busy and the infrastructure just isn’t there for any development at the site.”

Ms Child said she believes any kind of plans would be totally unacceptable for the site.

She’s now urging residents to join the fight against any development.

David Harrison, Wickford Indepedent chairman of the neighbourhoods and public spaces committee, said: “The highways around this site are awful and have been made worse in a reduction of lanes.

“I would not support any development at this site.”

The debate comes after Marston’s pulled the plug on its development plans to build on the site, citing a “lack of funds”.

Rival pub chain Wetherspoons is still interested in opening a new venue in the town.

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “This site presents a key opportunity to contribute towards the future regeneration of Wickford Town Centre. Specialist advisors will undertake a careful review of the site before making recommendations to the council about any potential development. This will ensure that any future development will complement Wickford’s regeneration prospects and ensure that the town centre is sustainable as a retail and leisure location for future generations.”