Gosport military base to be sold off by government by 2026, new MoD estate plan reveals

A parade at this year's Sultan Show at HMS Sultan
A parade at this year's Sultan Show at HMS Sultan
Volunteers from HMS Sultan at Crofton Hammond Infant and Junior Schools in Stubbington. Picture: PO Phot Nicola Harper

Naval base volunteers help give schools a complete makeover

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HMS Sultan in Gosport is set to be sold off in the next 10 years to help the government meet housing targets.

An estate strategy by the Ministry of Defence has outlined that the military base’s operations will wind down by 2026.

Training in mechanical engineering will move to Fareham’s HMS Collingwood and the Admiralty Interview Board will go to Portsmouth Naval Base. Submarine engineer training will be sent up to the Clyde, in Scotland.

The MoD says the ‘better defence estate strategy’ aims to support military capability by providing a ‘smaller but better estate’ for the armed forces and their families out to 2040 and beyond.

It is a long-term plan aimed to help deliver 55,000 new homes across the country, slash running costs by £140m over the next decade and help to pay for £4bn worth of improvements in defence.

Gosport’s Fort Blockhouse is also set to be sold by 2020, with changes to be made in 2018.

HMS Nelson’s Wardroom in Portsmouth is already on the disposal list, which Portsmouth council leader, Cllr Donna Jones, hopes can be transformed into a five-star hotel.

Addressing the strategy in the estate report, defence secretary and former minister for Portsmouth, Michael Fallon, said: ‘While in many areas we use our estate efficiently, overall it is still too big, too expensive, with too many sites in the wrong locations: it covers 424,000 hectares, about 1.8 per cent of the UK land mass; it costs £2.5bn a year to maintain; and 40 per cent of our assets are more than 50 years old.

‘The Armed Forces are 30 per cent smaller than at the end of the last century, but the estate has only reduced by nine per cent.

‘That is why the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) committed to invest in a better built estate that will reduce in size by 30 per cent by 2040.’