BOOTS' warehouse site at Aldershot may be partly transformed into a huge housing estate when the company pulls out in a year's time.

Real estate operator CB Hillier Parker is due to start marketing the 30-acres in North Lane in the autumn.

The company is working on behalf of Boots Properties which owns the freehold to what is regarded as a prime site.

Talks have already started with Rushmoor Council about the possibility of designating the land for homes and "some form of employment uses".

Boots acquired the warehouse from its High Street predecessor, Timothy Whites, in the 1960s.

The company is selling the site because it is moving its prescription medicine distribution to Nottingham, and closing its Cookware business.

Spokesman Francis Thomas said: "In future we will be concentrating on the health and beauty side of our business."

Efforts are being made to find alternative work within the company for some of the 500 Aldershot workers.

Employment agencies are also involved in helping staff to find other jobs.

"We are doing our best to help them," said Mr Thomas. "It's never nice when people lose their jobs.

"But I am afraid the closure of the warehouse is a necessary part of our future plans."