Estover Playing Field in March could be in line for a £200,000 make-over following a shock council move.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s general purposes committee agreed to hand over the field on a 99-year lease to the town and shelve housing plans for it during a meeting on Tuesday.
Although the decision has to be ratified by the full council and could be called in by the secretary of state, the future is looking brighter for the field.
Hopes are it could become a sports hub with pitches and a pavilion for the town and could be receiving a total of £200,000 from Fenland District Council and March Town Council.
Leader of the county council Steve Count was due to present a motion to hand over the field at the next full council meeting, but withdrew it after the committee’s move.
He said: “I am elated. I finally had the chance to deliver what the people of March wanted.
“A lot of work has gone into this and it has paid off. It has not always been visible.”
Mayor of March, Kit Owen, was pleased with the decision.
He said: “It is above and beyond any of our expectations. It is really good news and shows how the community pulls together.
“It has not been fully utilised since the 1960s. This could make it a real asset for the town.”
March Town Council was due to discuss the plans during its meeting on Monday.
A trust will be formed to look after the site.