A petition calling for a sports club to stay in community hands has been rejected.

Ongar Town Council plan to takeover Ongar Social and Sports Club, in Love Lane, when the lease expires in February.

The authority met last week after it received a petition signed by 570 people calling for a rethink.

Town councillors were accused of disregarding the community at a previous meeting, but unanimously voted to press ahead with its plan, which includes upgrading facilities and rebranding it as Ongar Jubilee Park.

At the meeting, Councillor Sheila Jackman said: "We mean what we say and nobody has any reason to doubt our vision.

"It's for the betterment of the whole community."