A CAMPAIGN group should be formed to protect football pitches from a housing development, it is claimed. 

Paul Smith, borough councillor for St John’s, is calling on residents’ groups to put the Gas Rec field, off Bromley Road, forward as an "asset of community value".

The status, which has not been used in Colchester before, would give them the chance to buy the land and stop developer Dishland building homes on it.

“We are saying to the developer ‘you cannot go ahead and do what you like’, this is a community space is designated as such," said Mr Smith.

Dennis Diggin, director at Dishland, has said no plans have been finalised.