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Fort Gilkicker development

Last updated 4 April 2018

Local people will be aware that development has started at Fort Gilkicker. This has led to concerns about disruption in the area and, in particular, changes to public access around the Fort.  This page aims to explain the Council’s role in the development and provide answers to residents’ questions and concerns.

 

If you have more questions, please email us at gilkicker@gosport.gov.uk, you can also keep up to date by following the Council on Facebook (@GosportBC) and Twitter (@GosportCouncil)

 

We'll keep this page updated as the development progresses.

 

Background

The Fort is a popular local landmark as well as an important heritage asset. Planning permission has been granted by the Council for it to be converted into residential accommodation, giving the best possible chance for it to be protected and preserved.

 

So that the development can go ahead, the owner of the site, Fort Gilkicker Developments Limited (FGDL) has bought the access road (Military Road) from the Council together with the right to use certain areas of Council land around the Fort.  See the map below, which shows who owns which parts of the land. The access road is not a public highway.

 

As work has now started to develop the Fort, public access to parts of the land around it has been restricted or diverted by the developer. Where possible, the Council is working with FGDL to keep these restrictions to a minimum. But, unfortunately, some disruption will be necessary over the coming months and years as the development progresses. 

 

For more information on the Fort development you can see the relevant planning documents on this website. They can be viewed under application reference 16/00444/VOC.

 

Documents relating to the original planning permission for the site can be viewed under reference 08/00423/FULL and also 13/00312/EXT.

 

FAQs

 

1. Why was the access road closed?

In order to facilitate the development, the Council sold the access road (Military Road) and a small area of land adjacent to the Fort to FGDL. As part of the sale, the Council imposed a covenant on the land that preserves a right for the public to continue to use Military Road and the route around the north-west side of the Fort in perpetuity.  

 

The road and the route around the north-west of the Fort are now open again for use by the public. The route may need to be periodically closed in the future where necessary as works to the Fort progress, but the Council will continue to work closely with the developer to keep these closures to a minimum.  

 

2. Why is there fencing to the east of the Fort, blocking off routes through that area?

As part of its planning permission, FGDL must do some nature conservation work in the area before construction starts.  The temporary fencing has been erected initially to keep the area undisturbed during this work, which will be followed by construction work on the sea defences as part of wider flood protection measures.

 

Once construction at the Fort itself begins, the Council has given permission for the area to the east of the Fort to be used as a work compound. Public access to and around that area may be restricted by the developer at that time, for safety reasons.

 

The fence line may change as the development progresses depending on the requirements at any given time. The Council will keep this under review.  

 

It's important to emphasise that the current restrictions are temporary, to allow work necessary for the development. Once the development is complete, full public access around the Fort will resume.

 

At least some of this area will be closed to the public for at least three to four years, as construction progresses. 

 

3. What about access to the bin that's fenced off?

There's another bin available on the north side of the Fort, by the lagoon and the access road. As this bin is likely to be more heavily used, the Council’s contractors will be emptying it regularly.

 

If you notice that the bin's full, you can report this to our Streetscene team on 08000 198598.

 

4. What about the Solent Way?

The Solent Way loops around the south (seaward) and east side of the Fort from Stokes Bay to Fort Road (see route below). It's a 'permissive' right of way, which means there's nothing to prevent the landowner, FGDL, from closing it without giving notice or providing a diversion. However, the Solent Way is separate from the legal rights of access that the Council has preserved for the public to the route around the Fort and along Military Road to Fort Road (see the answer to Q1 above). This right is subject to diversions when required for the development work but the route cannot be otherwise closed or diverted without the Council’s permission.

 

As the access road needs to be raised and widened as part of the development, there will be periods in the future when it will be blocked. The Council will continue to work with the developer to keep these periods to a minimum.

 

5. Is the Council going to apply for a formal right of way over the access road and around the Fort?

We have listened to residents' concerns on this.  We will lead on getting the various routes around the fort made formal rights of way. We're looking at the best and quickest way to do this. 

The advice we've had from Hampshire County Council, which oversees rights of way, is that they have a 10-year waiting list for creating footpaths the traditional way – applying to HCC for the paths to be added to the definitive map with evidence of long use. We're therefore looking at much quicker methods. 

Where we own the land, we may be able to enter into an agreement with HCC to dedicate the paths as rights of way. Another possibility is a public path creation order made by us (GBC). 

Where we don't own the land, i.e. the access road and path around the north-east corner of the fort, the developer would have to enter into a dedication agreement. We're encouraging them to pursue this, and have had a positive response. Again, an alternative might be for GBC to make a public path creation order. 

All these possibilities are being researched at the moment. Councillors will make a decision on the way forward, probably at a public meeting of the full council, most likely in April. 

It's important to point out that it's in everyone's interests that the development goes ahead smoothly and is finished as quickly as possible. Creating new rights of way during development work could have a negative effect. So it would be best to arrange for new rights of way to come into effect when the development is finished.

We will update this page when we have more information.

 

6. What is happening on site?

As the works are being carried out by a private developer, the Council does not necessarily have the latest information about what is happening on site.  At present, we have been advised that major works look likely to start in Spring 2018 and in the meantime scrub clearance works within the fenced-off areas will be continuing. 


 

Public meeting – 8 January 2018

Thank you to all those who attended the public meeting to discuss issues at Fort Gilkicker.  Please find attached a document which sets out all the questions that were submitted before the meeting and the Council’s responses to those questions.


Please also find a document setting out additional questions that were asked on the night and the Council’s responses to these questions.  This contains links to other documents, such as plans, reports and a transfer document. If you have any additional questions, please send them to gilkicker@gosport.gov.uk.


Fort Gilkicker
Fort Gilkicker - close up
Fort Gilkicker - key
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