By David Madden

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — A popular slice of open space in West Chester is well on the way to being spared from development, thanks to the effort of neighbors who have convinced the borough to secure the property, with their help.

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Barclay Grounds sits on little more than an acre along High Street, one of the main entry ways to the Chester County seat. The current owner wanted to put up four houses, but has agreed in principal to sell to the borough for $1.2 million.

Council President Holly Brown says many people consider the Barclay Grounds as a park and a group’s been formed to keep it that way.

“It’s got a lot of very old trees,” she says. “It’s a very quiet area of town, but it’s also a very visible piece of property.”

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The borough will vote on the deal at the end of the month. The town will apply for county and state grants to pay the bill — and John Cottage with the Barclay Grounds Preservation Alliance is confident those efforts will work.

“We have been talking with a couple of the land trust groups, Cottage says, “the Natural Lands Trust and the Brandywine Conservancy.”

Private donations are expected to take care of any funding gaps.

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