A cricket pavilion which provided a vital space for recreation during coronavirus lockdowns has gained extra protection from future development.

Cricket has been played on Hill Green, Clavering, since the 1880s.

The pavilion was erected in 1950. It was a former WW2 army hut from Debden Aerodrome, transported to Hill Green and erected on a concrete base, with a new roof pitched, the outside metal lathed and plastered and finally thatched.

The works were funded by a village benefactor, Edward Teale. The Cricket Club Chairman at the time, Mr Vassar Rowe with Norman Wombwell, Fred Gilbey and Harold Walford organised the transport and the construction work.

More recently the pavilion has been used to host Carols on the Green at Christmas.

Uttlesford District Council have listed the green as an Asset of Community Value, unanimously agreeing it furthered the social wellbeing of the local community.

Councillor Richard Freeman expressed his support at the Assets of Community Value and Local Heritage List Committee.

He said: “This is a textbook example, if there is such a textbook, of what an Asset of Community Value is and what it should be so I have no problems whatsoever supporting it.”

Councillor Louise Pepper, portfolio holder for Environment and Green Issues, reminded the committee how the green provided opportunity for safe exercise during the UK’s three national lockdowns.

She said: “During the pandemic we have learned even more how valuable these assets are so I think again I wholeheartedly support this nomination.”

Assets of Community Value were introduced in 2011 and aim to ensure important resources in local communities are maintained.

If an asset is listed, this can be used as a reason for refusing planning permission.

Additionally, the owner must inform the local authority if they want to sell. This is to give local community groups the chance to raise money and buy the asset.

Clavering Parish Council has rented the green since 1949. However, the original landlords, Cecil Francis Tatham and Frances Dorothea Simpkinson, died in 1961 and 1974. The parish council does not know who inherited the 99-year lease.

Uttlesford District Council resolved to investigate the identities of the landlords’ descendants.