Plans to turn playing fields in Harpenden into a Town Green have been rejected.

Hertfordshire County Council’s development control committee refused the application for Westfield Playing Fields to gain status following a public inquiry last year.

Use of the land for lawful sports and pastimes had not been carried on "as of right" but "by right" of the local authority that owned the land.

The playing field is one of five freehold assets transferred or sold to Harpenden Town Council by St Albans District Council as part of its agenda to support localism.

It was considered necessary to contend the Town Green application because it would prevent other community events and the introduction of amenities already installed in the town’s other recreational spaces happening.

Town Mayor, Councillor Rosemary Farmer, said she was pleased at the decision.

She said: "The public inquiry heard evidence from both the applicant and the town council. The conclusion by the inspector to reject the application was very heartening.

"With confirmation by the county council that the land will not be a Town Green the town council can seek to improve the facilities here, and ensure that the playing fields are open to greater community recreational and leisure use now and into the future."

Residents will now be consulted on how to improve facilities in the playing fields.