Fort Blockhouse in Gosport is set to transformed into homes and businesses

The UK’s oldest fortification could be turned into an area for business and housing.
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Fort Blockhouse is is due to be disposed of by The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2025, and could be transformed into a ‘mixed-use development’.

Gosport Borough Council, together with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which is part of the MoD, recently invited consultancy services to conduct a ‘modal shift transport study’ as it explores options for the area and its buildings.

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This was done ‘to better understand the opportunities in relation to traffic and transport as part of the likely site-wide redevelopment of Fort Blockhouse’.

Early morning sun lighting up Fort Blockhouse. Picture: Brian Bracher /Compass AerialEarly morning sun lighting up Fort Blockhouse. Picture: Brian Bracher /Compass Aerial
Early morning sun lighting up Fort Blockhouse. Picture: Brian Bracher /Compass Aerial

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the council said: ‘The Fort Blockhouse site, which is due to be released in 2025, is owned by the Ministry of Defence. The DIO is currently working on a masterplan for the area.

‘The council would like to see a mix of residential properties along with marine employment to make use of the deep-water access.

‘Any use would need to be compatible with the historic buildings on the site, along with providing open space and a coastal path. This will be reflected in our emerging Local Plan.’

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An MoD spokesperson added: ‘The DIO is working closely with Gosport Borough Council to develop a disposal strategy that aims to unlock the development potential of the Fort Blockhouse 1 site, through the delivery of a potential mix of future uses.’

The council’s emerging local plan states that ‘Gosport Waterfront and the Haslar Peninsula will aim to be a world-class locale for marine industries and sailing and be redeveloped to provide new mixed-use neighbourhoods and marine employment’.

Fort Blockhouse, which is thought to be the UK’s oldest fortification, was built over five centuries starting in 1431 until the mid-1960s. It currently remains as the 33 military field hospital, under the 2nd Medical Brigade.

It also houses a branch of the National Coastwatch Institution, whose members act as lookouts over Portsmouth Harbour.

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