Weyhill is set to play host to a weekly artisan market after plans were approved by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

North and Sons Limited had applied to the council to hold a market on land next to the Weyhill fairground roundabout from March to October on Thursdays.

Following clarification to Hampshire Highways, the market has been given permission to go ahead, and promises to sell a variety of local produce including pies, honey and cheeses from up to 30 stallholders.

Plans for the site were first submitted back in November, with the applicant, Graham North, having run a car boot sale on the site for the past four years.

With the car boot sale moving to a new site, he applied to run an artisan market on the field, saying that it was “impractical for either arable production or animal husbandry.”

In a statement to the council, Graham said that he had been in touch with homemade and farm suppliers about supporting the venture, with producers of meat, vegetables, eggs, honey, pies and cheese all said to be interested, as well as a variety of craftspeople.

He said that he felt than “with the location, an artisan/country market could be a great benefit to Weyhill.”

Having initially applied for hours of 09:00-21:00, these have since been reduced from 11:00-20:00 following discussions with TVBC, with stalls open from 15:00-19:00.

Commenting on the plans, one member of the public said it would provide “a much needed outlet” for rural businesses.

They said: “Operating from mid-afternoon and until the early evening, the market will serve those who work and have little opportunity to visit markets places such as this and that provide locally produced food and other locally crafted goods.

“The market will be a massive boost to our struggling local small businesses, crafts people and food producers, for whom times are terribly tough.”

Hampshire Highways raised concerns regarding insufficient details about access, which were subsequently addressed by the applicant.

Between 20-30 stallholders are hoped to be drawn to the market, with parking provided in an adjacent field.

With the plans approved, the market could begin as soon as March 4, if Covid restrictions allow.

In a separate application, plans have been submitted to move the car boot sale that previously operated on the site to Motley Mill in Weyhill. These plans are currently being consulted on, with a decision expected in due course.