PLANS for a new luxury car dealership on the A3 were given the go ahead by East Hampshire District Council

Councillors granted permission for Barons of Hindhead to develop the derelict Spaniard Inn site on the A3.

District councillors spoke in favour of the application as it would finally replace the eyesore of a dilapidated and unsafe building with a prestigious business development.

Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council rejected the plans in May last year after they were first revealed in February 2017.

Dubbed the new ‘gateway’ to East Hampshire, the new dealership will also bring much-needed employment opportunities to the Liphook area, says Barons.

Work is expected to start as soon as possible, with an archaeological survey of the whole site being undertaken before becoming Barons’ new BMW Mini showrooms along with a workshop, and parking for staff and customers.

The BMW Mini dealership has been based at its current site in Hindhead for 30 years. It will be sold off for housing development.

Barons acquired the former Seven Thorns hotel, at Bramshott Chase, for more than £1million from Haslemere estage agent Clarke Gammon Wellers two years ago.

Barons’ Peter Wakefield said: “It was important for us to find a suitable, central location which is easily accessible by customers from East Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey, and we have been looking to relocate for three years.”

The site can be accessed from the A3 southbound, and via Knockhundred Lane, which is a one-way link between Sandy Lane to the east and the Portsmouth-London route.

From the 1950s onwards, it was a busy stop-off point for coaches coming out of London en route to the south coast, before it became known as The Spaniard, and was turned into The Ravens nightclub.

It suffered extensive damage in a fire in the late 1980s and has been derelict ever since.