A group of concerned citizens fighting to protect the Meadowbrook Golf Course spoke passionately about their cause at a meeting of an agglomeration council commission at Montreal city hall Wednesday night.

The Meadowbrook Golf course sits on 57 hectares of green space in parts of C�te St. Luc and Lachine.

Developers have been eyeing the golf course for more than 20 years, with plans to build homes on the land.

A group called "Friends of Meadowbrook" has been fighting the plans ever since they were first proposed.

"There's lots of place to build -- I don't think they need to take away 57 hectares of green space," said Bernice Goldsmith, a member of the group.

Goldsmith said she considers the golf course a little piece of country in the city.

"You can't replace something like this here in the middle of the city," she said.

Friends of Meadowbrook want the golf course declared an eco-territory -- a first step in staving off development.

Citizens argued the green space has "psychological benefits" and that the trees at Meadowbrook fight the pollution coming from Highway 20.

Montreal West mayor Campbell Stuart said he considered the meeting a step in the right direction.

"The consensus that something has to be done is hugely encouraging," he said.