Council buy car boot site for housing

Cllr Keith House and Tonia Craig on car boot site

It’s been running for 32 years but in a few months time traders at Bursledon car boot sale will have to find a new venue after Eastleigh Borough Council purchased the site complete with planning permission for 182 new houses.

Bursledon’s Local Area Committee granted permission for a new housing estate on the boot sale site off Hamble Lane in November 2015.

After the news broke last week Eastleigh Borough Council seemed unwilling to admit they were the sites new owners. A spokesman for the Council told the Daily Echo (a local newspaper) that the council was aware the car boot sale would and the site could be developed for housing.

Speaking on BBC Radio Solent’s Sasha Twining show Cllr House told interviewer Alun Newman that the council had nothing to do with the boot sale closure:

“The landowner decided to shut up shop that’s their decision its not something the council jas been involved with at all.”

But later, in responding to an email from Eastleigh News, Cllr House agreed that the council were now the sites owners but added:

“The landowner has been working on selling the site as soon as planning permission was given so the boot sale site would close regardless of ownership.”

The new development will also a provide 10 hectares of country park which would act as buffer preserving the natural habitiat and the green space between Bursledon and Southampton.

Cllr House also told Eastleigh News`:

“We bought the site to ensure the road issue and new Park were moved forward as quickly as possible to take building traffic from Taylor Wimpey’s site off Hamble Lane sooner rather than later.”

A key part of the new development is a new road that will allow traffic from the new Taylor Wimpey housing site onto Bursledon Road so that residents from this and the proposed development on the car boot site won’t use the already congested Hamble Lane for access.

In a statement Cllr House said:

“This exciting development to provide a new country park, secure the green gap, reduce traffic on Hamble Lane and homes for local people has been made possible by the Council’s investment in the site.

“As part of the Council’s investment portfolio it will also help us keep council tax down and protect local services.”

It is not known how much the council has paid for the car boot site.

Update: Since this story story was posted Cllr House has sent the following response:

“In the Solent discussion with Alun Newman the issue of who bought the land didn’t come up: if it had done I would have answered. The history of the site is that Taylor Wimpey were given planning permission by the Conservative Secretary of State against the wishes of the Council that wanted to protect the gap with Southampton and did not want an extra junction on Hamble Lane. The County Council had supported extra traffic on Hamble Lane. So the Council buying the land ensures the remaining gap is saved, and also solves the Hamble Lane problem. It’s the sort of action Councils should take more often.”


Correction: Earlier version incorrectly attributed Cllr House’s Radio interview to the Julian Clegg Show, the interview with Alun Newman can be found here

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