Town councillors have narrowly approved plans to extinguish a highway so that the county council can sell the land.

The Planning Committee of Andover Town Council voted by three votes to two to approve a request from Hampshire County Council (HCC) for a highway on land next to 15 Ward Close in Andover. The county council is understood to be selling the land to the residents of this property to provide an extra driveway.

Cllr Barbara Long said she had no objection to the plans, saying the plot was “so small it won’t matter if it’s extinguished” but Cllr David Coole disagreed, saying that Andover was “losing more open space”.

The land in question is located next to 15 Ward Close, and lies adjacent to a footpath connecting the road to Artists Way. It is currently owned by Hampshire Highways after the estate was built.

The county council wrote to the town council to ask if it had an objection to the application, with the land currently classed as “a publicly maintainable highway”. HCC said the land “is considered to be surplus to future highway requirements.”

Cllr Long, who visited the site, told the meeting: “As I understand it, No. 15 want to purchase this piece of land to provide an extra driveway. They’ve got a car on the driveway outside their garage and another car basically on the pavement at the bottom of their driveway.”

She added: “The piece of land became part of Hampshire Highways when Ward Close was built. It’s a bit of an anomaly.”

Cllr David Coole opposed the request, saying that the town was “just losing more open space”.

Cllr Christopher Ecclestone concurred, saying that “just because it’s badly maintained doesn’t mean we should give it up.”

He said: “Surely we would prefer to transfer it to TVBC and integrate it into the bit of land there?

“I can understand why Hampshire don’t want the pocket handkerchief there, but it should be given to TVBC for maintenance purposes.”

Cllr Luigi Gregori then spoke, saying he was not opposed to the plans.

He said: “There’s a fair amount of space on that side of the square. The roads aren’t particularly wide as well so if this makes things easier for a resident and Hampshire county council get some money I’ve got no real objection.”

He added that the council could potentially ask for HCC to invest in green space using the proceeds of the sale if it were approved.

The meeting then proceeded to a vote, with Cllrs Robin Hughes, Long and Gregori voting in favour of approving the request, and Cllrs Coole and Ecclestone voting against. Therefore, it was approved.