A VILLAGE green which is home to a memorial bench for a local mum was sold at auction for £36,000 to residents' disbelief.

The triangle of grass at Edington Place in Grove was sold to an anonymous bidder at the end of an all-day online auction on Wednesday.

Locals wanted to stop the sale because of the bench honouring Grove mum-of-two Dominique Hill, who died in 2018 but had chosen the spot for the bench herself before she died.

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Dominique Hill also helped plant her own memorial tree on another green opposite the bench in March, 2018.

Grove Parish Council even bid £30,000 in the auction, run by McHugh and Co, including £15,000 pledged by residents, but was outbid.

Villager Megan Heley, a friend of Mrs Hill's who organised for the bench to be put on the green, said: "We couldn't believe how much it sold for, I didn't think anyone would go to that amount."

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It is understood the land was being sold off by the family of the developer who build the homes in that area, and who recently passed away.

The parish council and Ms Heley both attempted to contact the family through their solicitors to ask whether they would reconsider the sale, but said they had no response.

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Left-to-right, Vici Ault Montgomery, Laura New, Michelle Rolls and Megan Heley shares memories of Dominique Hill on the memorial bench.

Residents will now have to wait to find out who the buyer was and what they intend to do with the land.

The council previously applied for an 'adverse possession' order which could give it the rights to the land, but this was unsuccessful because it is technically part of an adopted highway.

However parish council clerk Graham Mundy said that, if a planning application now came forth for the land, he would expect the council to strongly object.