Bid for £1m homes at old goat-testing facility in Gosport

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A FORMER controversial testing facility could transform into an upmarket site with £1m homes if a councillor’s vision becomes a reality.

Defence company QinetiQ is looking at what it can do with its disused Alverstoke site off Fort Road.

While the firm is undecided about any plans, Gosport’s council leader Mark Hook wants to see high-value homes built on the site.

He said luxury homes could draw in captains of industry for people leading companies at Daedalus enterprise zone in Lee-on-the-Solent.

He said: ‘My idea to them is a very small number of million-pound plus houses.

‘We’re very short of houses for captains of industry.

‘They could deliver something that could be very, very good – if not exceptional – on that site.

‘I’m delighted that QinetiQ are talking with the local residents to explain what they want to explore.’

QinetiQ controversially put goats in pressure chambers at the site to research the effects of deep-water submersion and the bends.

But that stopped in 2008 when the herd of 28 goats were moved to a sanctuary.

The firm later moved its hyperbaric test facilities to its Haslar site in 2012.

The News understands QinetiQ is in the early stages of working out what it could do with the site, which has permission for industrial use.

It means the site could be used for light industrial work if the firm can get someone to take it over.

Another option understood to be on the table is a mixed development of housing and industrial units.

Cllr Hook added Gosport Society had wanted to see the site opened up as it contains No 5 battery – an ancient monument.

It is part of the Stokes Bay Lines and is mostly intact.

But Cllr Hook added the civic society knows opening the site up to the public would be difficult.

Anglesey ward councillor Alan Scard said the QinetiQ site is a difficult one.

He said: ‘If they could get someone in (to use it for industrial purposes) they could just carry on. Whether anyone would want to take that site on I don’t know.

‘It’s liable to flooding and we’ve got an ancient monument there. It’s a difficult site.’

A QinetiQ spokesman said there were no set plans.

He said: ‘It’s very much an early discussion that’s taken place. We don’t have any views what should be there.’