A CAMPAIGNING residents group has called on Essex County Council to honour its pledge to give up a piece of prized open space.

The Irvine Road field, off Irvine Road, Colchester, became the centre of a political dispute as Philip Morant School wanted to use part of it for a new access road.

The school argued the access road was essential if it was to see increased pupil numbers under the proposed £130 million reorganisation of Colchester secondary schools.

However, the education overhaul has now been shelved after cash from the Building Schools for the Future project became a victim of he public spending cutbacks.

Now residents, who had opposed the loss of the field as open space, have asked the county council to stay true to its word - and give the field up.

The residents want the field to become part of the Queen Elizabeth 2012 Challenge, under which 2012 outdoor recreational spaces will be protected in perpetuity.

For more on this story, see this week's Essex County Standard.