HOUSEBUYERS could be told they can have only one car when they buy a property in a Basingstoke development.

An unprecedented ruling on a proposed town centre housing site is set to be approved by Basingstoke council on Wednesday, which will dictate how many cars a buyer is allowed.

The controversial move relates to a planning application, first considered by the council in July, for an apartment block of 17 flats on the corner of Winchester and Bounty roads.

The block would contain 11 two-bedroomed flats and six one-bedroomed flats and have 21 car parking spaces - 12 of them underground.

However, neighbouring residents raised concerns that the proposed development by T A Fisher & Sons Ltd would exacerbate the problem of illegal parking on Bounty Road and Winchester Road.

Councillors then agreed to look into the possibility of imposing contractual rules on the development which could tell a prospective buyer how many cars they can have.

Today, borough councillors will be asked to finally approve the planning application - with the restrictive ruling.

In a report to the economic development meeting, developer T A Fisher said it has "indicated a willingness to enter into a legal agreement to limit each flat to one car parking space and to increase the total car parking to 24."

Cllr Martin Biermann, who first suggested the controversial idea, said: "This is a substantial move in the right direction and a clear sign of a willingness to accommodate local views.

"If this can be instituted then I do believe it could provide an opportunity to have restrictions on other developments as well."

The report also highlights the possibility of developing a car-free scheme, which could see a car club established where people rent cars for particular uses instead of having their own.

No-one from T A Fisher & Sons Ltd, based in Mortimer, was available for comment.