CAMPAIGNERS have lost their long-running battle to safeguard a village church for the community.

Victory Gospel Church in North Baddesley will now be demolished after planners approved plans to build three detached homes in its place.

The congregation outgrew the church and moved to the former Mecca Bingo Hall in Portswood, Southampton, and want to sell the site for housing.

Council planners felt the new designs appeased previous concerns over parking, privacy for neighbouring homes and fitted in with the look of the village.

A condition was attached requiring the developer, Gale Homes Ltd, to contribute to a pot of cash made from selling the homes to community projects.