We need our wildernesses to survive as an urban area

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It’s easy to forget sometimes just how lovely the place you live can be. Okay, so Gosport may be a bit rough around the edges. But it has its good points, especially the wild parts and the sea views.

Take, for example, the wilderness of the Alver Valley and the Canary Island-esque scrub of Browndown military area.

Climb a mound of rubble and there in front of you is the Solent, teaming with spinnakers. The only things missing are the sunshine and the Spanish accents – oh, and sunburned men from Birmingham.

Of course, however lovely parts of Gosport might be, I find it hard to work out who will be the houses /flats (oops, I meant to say luxury apartments) which are being created at Fort Gilkicker, right on the waterfront with access through a golf course.

I’m guessing that they must be uber expensive as they’re price on application (which always mean I can’t afford it), so let’s guess about £1m a throw. Are there going to be that many people with that kind of cash who want to live in Gosport?

Um, can’t see that happening unless we find some miraculous cure for the High Street’s dearth of shops, the situation with the A32, the lack of nightlife.

But as of September last year, or so the Fort Gilkicker website tells me, 30 per cent were already reserved. And now it appears as if the project is moving along.

Last month the scrub and trees, which covered the fort with an energetic and inspiring playground for children and dogs alike, were torn down.

Some might argue that this is a good thing, decreasing any potential danger. But, like the path to the fort through the golf course and the ever-present threat of being hit on the head by an errant ball, the element of danger was an essential part of the fun.

Fort Gilkicker was a wild space and its transformation into housing is very disappointing.

It’s too late now to change anything, but I hope that the custodians of other special sites in the area take into account that Gosport needs to protect its wildernesses in order to survive as an urban area.

Otherwise we’ll just end up as a dingy town with a bit of beach and too-thin cycle lanes.