Nearly 7.5 acres of open grassland and woods near Redhill has gone under the auctioneer's hammer for twice its guide price in a “bidding war.”

The site at Gatton Bottom, Merstham, let at £350 per annum under a grazing licence, was among 27 lots being sold by regional land and property auctioneers Clive Emson.

The land went for £80,000 in the auction at The Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, on Tuesday, February 11.

Sam Kinloch, senior auction valuer, said: "There was keen interest in the 7.3 acres and this led to a bidding war in the sales room, with the gavel falling down on a final bid of £80,000, which was double the estimated value.”

He said: “As previously mentioned, it is considered the site would be suitable for a number of different uses, and may even hold future development potential, subject to all the necessary planning consents being obtainable."

A spokesman for Clive Emson said: “The land was formerly part of the Merstham Estate, with the place name derived from an Anglo-Saxon word to describe a "homestead near a trap set for martens or weasels."

The spokesman added: “According to the Domesday Book of 1086, the then Merstan had various assets, including eight acres of meadow and woodland, five hides, one church, one mill, ten ploughs and herbage worth 41 hogs.”

The next of Clive Emson's eight regional sales this year will take place at The Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, on Tuesday, March 25, at 11am.

Clive Emson , a property and land auctioneer to estate agents, commercial property agents, statutory bodies and private clients, has a reach across southern England, from Kent to Cornwall, and is one of the top four auctioneers in the UK by way of value and volume of residential sales, and sixth over-all.