Gosport Borough Council is to seek more protection for walking routes around Fort Gilkicker, following calls from residents. Before development work started, the council imposed a covenant that preserves the right for walkers to use a route on FGDL land, along Military Road and around the north-west side of the fort. However, many residents have expressed concerns that more protection is needed for routes regularly used by the public. The council will now work with residents on an application to Hampshire County Council to have two routes officially made into public rights of way.
Cllr Mark Hook, Leader of the Council, said: "We're grateful to the 200 residents who came to the meeting. We listened carefully to what they had to say. "One of the top concerns they had was protecting the paths. We're happy to act on this, and to take the lead on applying for public right of way status for these routes. "To do this, we'll need residents to help by providing evidence about the use of the routes."
The council will seek to have these routes made public rights of way:
part of the Solent Way, running from the west of the fort, along its south side and east side, before joining Military Road and then Fort Road
the route from GAFIRS at the west side of the fort which loops around the north-west of the site, joining Military Road
Public meeting concerning Fort Gilkicker – 8 January 2018
A Public meeting was held on January 8 2018 to answer questions put by members of the public to the officers of Gosport Borough Council concerning the development of Fort Gilkicker. The council responded to a variety of questions thus: ‘The council retains the ownership around the fort, apart from the access road and a small area to the north east of the fort. ‘With regards to land owned by the developer, the council has imposed a covenant that preserves the right for pedestrians to continue to use the paths. ‘This means that the council can require the developer to allow public access, though it may need to be restricted to allow works to be carried out. ‘The council will be monitoring any restrictions and give as much notice to members of the public as possible.’ The council will continue to update its web page here: https://www.gosport.gov.uk/sections/your-council/press-releases/land-around-fort-gilkicker-access-issues/ and has posted a link to the questions raised at the meeting and their responses.
Posted on 10 Jan 2018
Right of Way at Fort Gilkicker
Gosport Council has posted the following information regarding percieved problems with the paths around Fort Gilkicker:
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.
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.
Fencing has been erected on the land surrounding Fort Gilkicker to keep the area undisturbed during the nature conservation 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. Gosport Council will keep this under review. 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.
The Solent Way loops around the south (seaward) and east side of the Fort from Stokes Bay to Fort Road. 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 Council has retained a right of access for the public to the route around the Fort and along Military Road to Fort Road. This right is subject to diversions when required for the development work.
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. Gosport has said that it will continue to work with the developer to keep these periods to a minimum.
Work has begun on the Fort Gilkicker development, starting with the widening and stengthening of the access road, William Jervois Way. This is necessary before heavy equipment can move on to site.
The public are being invited in to see Wild Boar Developments’ early progress on the Grade II-listed site during an open day on April 22 2017. Visit the fortgilkicker.com website for more information and to book a tour.
Andrew Temperton, from Wild Boar Properties Ltd, said: ‘There are no other residential developments in the UK like this one – it is an absolute honour to transform such a historic monument, bring it into the 21st century and create homes for those looking for an exclusive and sporting lifestyle in a unique and tranquil environment.
As a team, we are looking forward to working with our buyers to ensure they have a say in the key elements of design and interiors to suit their personal taste.
‘Fort Gilkicker offers purchasers a chance to put their individual stamp on a piece of British history. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are looking forward to welcoming both local and prospective purchasers to give them a backstage pass into the redevelopment and further information on the scheme.’