Housing developers at Fort Gilkicker say the future of wildlife is in safe hands

A computer-generated image of the proposed development
A computer-generated image of the proposed development
Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at  The Southsea Village holding a ping-pongathon to get people in the fundraising spirit fo Children in Need. Picture : Habibur Rahman

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CONCERNS over the future of wildlife at a housing development have been laid to rest.

The development to Fort Gilkicker, in Gosport, aims to renovate the area with 26 luxury homes.

Gosport Borough Council passed permission for the conversion back in 2001, but delays in securing an investor and developer for the site have held plans up for the last 16 years, until Wild Boar Developments took hold of the reins.

The population of Dartford Warblers plummeted in the 1960s due to the harsh winters, and has struggled to recover from this.

The species, thriving in the Gosport area. is currently Amber Listed by the RSPB,

Andrew Temperton, the managing director of Wild Boar Developments, said that not only was the company aware of the wildlife, but it was actively doing something to support it.

He said: ‘Fort Gilkicker is host to a number of species of bird and other wildlife which are important both locally and nationally.

‘The planning consent for the development was granted following a public inquiry which took account of detailed investigations into these species.

‘The approved scheme includes arrangements to improve and increase bird and wildlife habitats and the construction works will be actively programmed to avoid any disruption to the lifecycles of local species.’

However, nearby residents are not convinced by Mr Temperton’s sentiments.

Kevin Ilsey, 48, said: ‘I went back in the summer and heard the birds singing – when I came back this year, it had all been pulled up. To me, it seems obvious that they are bending the rules, but everybody has already given the development the go-ahead.

‘From firsthand experience, the people in Gosport aren’t really in favour of it anyway.’

The 22 townhouses are due for occupation in 2018.