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Land around Fort Gilkicker - access issues

Last updated 23 Nov 2017

 

The Council recognises that local people have enjoyed access to the area around Fort Gilkicker for many years, and understands residents' concerns about restrictions to that access.

 

We hope the information below answers your queries.

 

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. 

 

There are no closures expected before or during the Christmas period.

 

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?

As the Council has safeguarded rights of access for members of the public in perpetuity, we do not consider it necessary to apply to make this route a formal right of way. If members of the public wish to make an application for any routes around Fort Gilkicker to become a formal right of way, then they should contact Hampshire County Council, the Rights of Way Authority.  It would not be appropriate  for the Council to attempt to make this application, as the County would wish to be able to take evidence from those who have first-hand knowledge of the use of the right of way which can be best provided direct by local residents.

 

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. 

 

Fort Gilkicker area - land ownership
Fort Gilkicker area - land ownership
HCC definitive map - route of Solent Way
HCC definitive map - route of Solent Way
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