Despite the many surveys and consulations that have necessarily been undertaken by the developer, some local residents have publicly expressed their concerns that 'the animals won’t actually come back when the development is done.There used to be a lot of nesting birds in the low-lying hedges, but now that has gone I don’t think they’ll be returning anytime soon. Some of these birds, like the skylarks, have completely disappeared now and it seems like they won’t be returning.
The developer, Mr. Temperton has replied that there is no cause for concern: ‘I appreciate the fears about the future of the wildlife – in answer to where it has been relocated, it has just been moved to the other side of the fence. As soon as the area is finished with the wildlife will start migrating back over the border again. They are effectively just moving next door, so I believe there’s no significant threat to the future of wildlife at Fort Gilkicker.’
According to the Biodiversity Statement wittten by Dr. Jonty Denton Bsc(Hons) D(Phil) FRES, MIEEM (Consultant Ecologist) : Once re-profiling is complete extensive replanting using native species will be carried out on the earth banks. This will result in a net increase in the area of scrub habitat available to nesting birds. The north faces of the earth mounds will be ideal for gorse and the area between the front (south) elevation of the fort and the earth mound for bramble and scrub. The re-profiling and landscaping of the earth banks provides an opportunity to improve the quality and extent of habitat suitable for species to colonise above levels vulnerable to marine inundation.
Surveys have been undertaken and the issues have been identified and discussed. Although populations of important species are present within the development area mitigation measures will ensure that there is little or no detriment to those species and the Fort will retain its current biodiversity. Where on-site mitigation is not possible, suitable sites will be identified for translocation and suitable strategies employed.
Regarding concerns about the condition of the fencing Mr Temperton said: ‘The issue with the fencing has been mentioned to me by a couple of residents. To my knowledge we have repaired the damage so it’s not of great concern at the moment, and I’ll be inspecting the site myself very soon.'
Work on the site has been on hold for a while but Mr Temperton stated: 'We’re still not ready to start but I will let people know when we are ready to do so'
Read more at: https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/our-region/gosport/wildlife-won-t-be-returning-to-fort-gilkicker-say-residents-after-fencing-goes-up-1-8524679
Posted on 07 Jun 2018
Council to seek Gilkicker Rights
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.