IT'S being hailed as the end of suburbia. Leafy residential lanes all over Hampshire - and the privileged lifetsyles that go with them - are under threat as developers offer pots of gold to home owners to buy up their large gardens.

Hampshire has become the scene of a land rush as developers from all over Britain attempt to buy up valuable building plots.

But not everyone is happy. In one up-market road where gardens back on to a golf course, rich neighbours are at war. Old friends have fallen out after some residents accepted offers of half a million pounds to sell off their gardens.

Developers are planning to build up to 200 extra houses and flats in Chilbolton Avenue, almost tripling the number of homes in what was once an exclusive area lived in only by millionaires.

The Daily Echo understands developers have already paid about £5m for a 2.5-acre plot, which included part of eight back gardens and other land.

But some residents fear the character of their leafy suburb will be ruined. And they have turned down the cash offers.

"It's become a devlopers' feeding frenzy," said neighbour Michael Newby. "They have been approaching us from as far afield as Brighton and Grimsby."

Residents who have sold up say the damage was already done before they took the money.

The developers blame government policies that are forcing them to build new homes in areas that are already built-up.

For the full story see today's Spotlight feature under the 'More News' section.