Neighbours vow to fight green verges near Gosport homes being sold at auction

Residents of Orchard Close, in Gosport, are fighting the sale of green verges. From left, Steve Morris, Glenis and Edwin Keen and Robert and Ann Bull Picture: Ellie Pilmoor
Residents of Orchard Close, in Gosport, are fighting the sale of green verges. From left, Steve Morris, Glenis and Edwin Keen and Robert and Ann Bull Picture: Ellie Pilmoor
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NEIGHBOURS are trying to stop land near their homes from being sold.

People living in Orchard Close, Gosport, were angry to find the green verges outside their homes were being sold through an auction.

I have decided to fight the sale on behalf of everyone but we don’t really know what we can do.

Steve Morris

They are now trying to fight the sale and have spoken to MP Caroline Dinenage and Gosport council leader Mark Hook to see what they can do.

Resident Steve Morris said: ‘We got a letter through our doors last week saying the land was being sold later this month. The main concern for us is there are quite a lot of elderly people here who are worrying about access to their property.

‘The green verges, which include a flowerbed which makes the close a T-junction, aren’t big enough to build anything on but that doesn’t mean they will stay as they are.

‘With the flowerbed, if they removed that, the road would become a through road, which we don’t want,’ said Mr Morris.

The residents held a meeting about the issue and some of the older people said they were having sleepless nights over their concerns.

Mr Morris added: ‘I have decided to fight the sale on behalf of everyone but we don’t really know what we can do. It is causing a lot of worry for everyone in the close. Thankfully the council has been supportive.’

The pieces of land are being sold by Bilton Land and have been advertised on auction site Allsop in its residential catalogue for February 18.

The guide price lists the two parcels of land – approximately 0.23 acres – at a starting price of £3,000.

But Cllr Hook said despite being owned by Bilton Land, the verges form part of a public highway and so any building on it would need permission from highways authority Hampshire County Council.

He said: ‘As soon as we found out about the sale, we got on to it immediately.

‘We have looked at it and because it is a public highway, any owner will need permission to build on it or make changes. We have made all relevant parties aware of this in a letter.’

Bilton Land was unavailable for comment.