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Fort Gilkicker development

Update: 5th December 2018

On behalf of the developers the council will be clearing land around Fort Gilkicker from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 December.  Levelling the soil and removing vegetation gathered by the fencing will make the site easier to access and help the natural recovery of the diverse eco systems.


We are also removing some fencing which has formed a small compound together with waste vegetation which was cut back some time ago.


Following advice from Hampshire County Council's ecologists it has been recommended that work takes place now to reduce any impact on sheltering wildlife and it will be supervised by our countryside team.


The clearance will help tidy-up the area and large pieces of masonry on the paths will also be removed.


For more details of the works please see the attached plan.

 


Update: 11th September 2018

Members of the public will be aware that work at the Fort has temporarily stopped and therefore some fencing has been taken down, although it will need to go back up as and when the Developer resumes preparation work.


The Council are in regular contact with the Developers and await further updates as to the resumption of the development.


The Council are of the view that the development gives the best possible chance of the Fort being protected and preserved for the future.


We are aware of 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 will 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 had started to develop the Fort, public access to parts of the land around it had been restricted or diverted by the developer.  Whilst fencing has been removed recently due to a temporary stop in the progress of the development, such fencing will be required again when the development resumes.  Therefore as a result 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 and the land cleared initially to ensure that protected species are not present during works for the conversion of the Fort and the 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.

 

The fence line may change as the development progresses depending on the requirements at any given time.


Following recent discussions with the council, FGDL has removed the temporary fencing.


Some safety fencing will still be needed on-site, to stop access to piles of cleared vegetation. Security fencing at the bottom of the fort will remain, to prevent anti-social behaviour.

 

3. 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.

 

4. 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.


The advice we've had from Hampshire County Council (HCC), 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.  So councillors have decided on other methods. 


Where we own the land, we'll enter into an agreement with HCC that would create rights of way. Where we don't own the land, we'll encourage the developer to make a similar agreement.  If they were unable or unwilling to do this, we would intervene and make a special public path creation order.


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.

 

5. 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. 

 

Public meeting – 8th 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.


Press releases (latest first)


The Solent Way route

 

Fort Gilkicker
Fort Gilkicker - close up
Fort Gilkicker - key
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