Rules which let residents buy council estate land for parking spaces are being blocked by climate change policy, a city councillor has said.

Small areas of council estate land which serve little purpose, like grass verges, can be bought by residents and turned into parking spaces or extensions to their garden.

According to deputy Tory leader Jeremy Moulton, the current Labour administration is using its Green City Charter to make it difficult for residents to do this, with barely 5% of enquiries leading to a land sale.

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Most of these cases have been where disabled access is urgently needed.

The Conservatives put the land purchase rule in place when they were in power.

He said: "As long this is properly managed this should be a win-win for residents and the council. To be clear, this isn’t about selling park land or genuine amenity space.

“The council can relieve itself of a liability and receive some income and residents can improve where they live.

“If there are concerns there is always the option of the council to provide residents a licence to use the land rather than an outright sale in order to ensure land is used properly – for instance it could insist that permeable grasscrete is laid rather than land being tarmacked.

“However the council has put numerous barriers in the way of residents, and barely 5% of enquiries have led to a land sale.

“I am very sad to see that the Labour Council are now seeking to amend the policy to formalise the obstructions they have been putting in place and this means that, if approved, only in very rare circumstances would land be sold.

“The council is there to serve residents and this flies in the face of that.”

In response to Cllr Moulton’s claims, a spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: “The council is currently considering its position on this and any proposed changes that may be incurred including the decision-making process relating to the sale of amenity land.”