Barnes residents have had a boost in their battle to ensure Barn Elms playing fields are removed from a list of potential super sewer development sites.

The beloved greenfield site and the picturesque recreation grounds, located on the Barnes and Putney border, could be given protected status as a green community space as part of a new initiative to help the UK create a grassroots legacy ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 2012 Olympic Games.

But campaign group Stop the Shaft (StS), campaigners against recent super sewer proposals could be used as a development site for London’s new super sewer, said although the news was good it was important not to become complacent.

A spokeswoman said: “While this new status is great news, it doesn’t necessarily mean Barn Elms is completely safe.

“We still need people to act and contact Thames Water with their thoughts on the latest plans.”

Fears were initially raised over the future of Barn Elms last year, when the site was listed as a preferred location for the construction of an entrance shaft for the Thames Tunnel sewer project.

After objections from residents living close to the site it was removed from the preferred location list.

Now, following an application made by Wandsworth Council, which manages the Richmond plot of land, the playing fields are in line for official protection to ensure they remain development-free green open spaces.

Wandsworth Council nominated Barn Elms for protected status as part of the new Queen Elizabeth II Challenge project, backed by Prince William and managed by the Fields in Trust charity, which encourages local boroughs to nominate outdoor recreation areas they think should be preserved.

So far the application has been accepted and subject to formal legal agreements being put in place Barn Elms can expect to receive the official designation in March 2012.

Richmond Council will also be putting in a nomination for Barn Elms too.

Leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said: "We want these valuable green open spaces to be protected in perpetuity.

“It’s a terrific way to celebrate these momentous events and will leave local people with a fitting legacy.”

Councillor Virginia Morris, Richmond’s cabinet member for environment added: “This land is vital to local people, which is why we are currently investing so heavily and working with residents to improve the facilities there.

“As always, we will keep local people informed of the outcome of our application to the challenge.

“The QEII Challenge is a useful way of protecting the land from future threats and we are hopeful our bid will be successful. All measures which protect green space are very welcome.”