Controversy as luxury homes at fort site are put on sale by agents

ALL CHANGE Fort Gilkicker
ALL CHANGE Fort Gilkicker

Solent Waspi campaigners attend Fareham fair

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LUXURY flats set to be built as part of controversial plans to save a Victorian fort have gone on sale.

Developer Askett Hawk is turning Fort Gilkicker, in Gosport, into 22 houses and four apartments.

LUXURY An artist's impression of a bedroom in one of the flats planned at Fort Gilkicker

LUXURY An artist's impression of a bedroom in one of the flats planned at Fort Gilkicker

Work to redevelop the grade II listed fort is not due to begin until later this year.

But potential buyers are already being invited to visit the site by London estate agent Chesterton Humberts.

Don Gordon, chairman of the Fort Gilkicker Action Group, fought the plans for more than 10 years.

The 84-year-old said: ‘At the moment it’s a beautiful, quiet and traffic-free environment with wildlife all around.

‘It will be totally ruined by all the traffic brought on by the development.

‘People go down there to get away from the noise and the traffic.’

‘It’s very disappointing. We had hoped that in this climate of recession the development might not have gone ahead for some time.

‘It will be of no benefit to Gosport residents at all. It will be for affluent people from far away.’

It is not known how much the homes will be sold for.

The plans were given the green light by the government in August last year after a public hearing.

Askett Hawk said turning the fort into a residential development was the only way to save it.

Chief executive Ian Pearce said: ‘Fort Gilkicker is of such architectural and historic importance that it has demanded an exceptional design to ensure the historic character and integrity of the building is retained, whilst providing an inspirational and high-quality residential scheme in a stunning location.’

The Victorian fort was completed in 1871 and was designed to defend the deepwater anchorage at Stokes Bay.

It held 22 gun emplacements designed to sweep the approaches to Portsmouth Harbour with gunfire.

Hampshire County Council bought the site in 1986 to protect the fort until an alternative use could be found.