Stedham villagers turned out in force when a public meeting was called to debate plans for state-of-the-art new sports facilities in the village.
The controversial 350,000 proposals which have been on the drawing board for three years, were put forward by a special steering group of the Stedham Collins and Sports Club.
They involve the demolition of the existing clubhouse in The Street and replacing it with four houses. The funds generated by the scheme will be used to finance the replacement and upgraded sports and social facilities in a new pavilion on the recreation ground.
But villagers have raised concerns over the size of the new pavilion, the proposal to let it out for parties which they feared would result in late night anti-social behaviour. Some villagers have also opposed the loss of the existing clubhouse which they claim is a historical part of Stedham.
Members of the Sports club have also been critical of Stedham with Iping parish councillors who they felt had not supported the project.
But parish council chairman Chris Morgan and chairman of the project's steering group David Burton said they felt the public meeting had cleared the air.
"I felt it was very positive," said Mr Morgan. "We had a show of hands to see how many of the 100 or so people there were in favour of the plans for the new sports facilities and they got virtually one hundred per cent support."
He said there was some opposition to the plans to demolish the existing clubhouse.
"Some villagers think it is of historical value and merit, but I would say the show of hands in favour of demolishing it and replacing it with four new homes was about 60 per cent.
"Overall the general consensus of the meeting seemed to be that if the whole village works together we can end up with improved sports facilities."
Mr Burton told the Observer: "It's all about compromise and common sense. We realise villagers want a new sports pavilion on the recreation ground – but not at any price.
"So we have gone down the road of trying to meet their fundamental requirements. We have made the pavilion smaller and changed the opening times. It's not a late night drinking place – it's only open for socials after sports events."
But he said the redevelopment of the existing clubhouse was crucial to the plans: "We have done our sums and we really need these houses to pay for the new pavilion.
"We felt the council's attitude had changed dramatically at the meeting. We had tried to do most of the things parish councillors had asked of us and most villagers' worries had been satisfied.
"We hope this is something which will bring the whole village together and it would be great to see village events organised in Stedham as they have in Lodsworth, Milland and Harting."
The planning applications had been with Chichester District Council since April, said Mr Burton and the steering group hoped planning permission would now be granted in the near future.