A COUNCIL is hoping to secure more protection for walking routes around a fort which is being developed.
Gosport Borough Council will be submitting an application to Hampshire County Council to make two walking routes around Fort Gilkicker public rights of way.
Since the owner of the fort, Fort Gilkicker Developments Ltd, started work on a residential scheme, many people in Gosport have been concerned about access to the area.
The council is applying for two routes to be made public rights of way – part of the Solent Way, running from the west of the fort, along its south side and east side, before joining Military Road and then Fort Road; and the route from the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue station at the west side of the fort, joining Military Road.
The news comes after members of the public pushed for rights of way at a meeting in Thorngate Halls on Monday. At the meeting, residents expressed concerns that more protection is needed for regularly used routes.
Before the development started, the council imposed a covenant on Fort Gilkicker Developments Ltd, to preserve the right to walk along the north-west side of the fort.
The council will now work with residents on an application to Hampshire County Council to have two routes officially made into public rights of way.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council Cllr Mark Hook said: ‘We’re grateful to the 200 residents who came to the meeting.
‘We listened carefully to what they had to say. One of the top concerns they had was protecting the paths. We’re happy to act on this, and to take the lead on applying for public right of way status for these routes.
‘To do this, we’ll need residents to help by providing evidence about the use of the routes.’
Ward councillor for Bridgemary North Cllr Stephen Hammond said: ‘Personally I think it is really good news.
‘To me it was very clear from Monday’s meeting how strong public opinion is on this. The tide is turning and people are starting to take more notice of what is happening in Gosport, which is great.’
Ward councillor for Alverstoke Cllr Peter Edgar is urging people to get involved with the council’s application.
He said: ‘The more people that make a case, the stronger it is when it goes before the council.
‘If people feel strongly about public rights of way at Gilkicker then they should make their views known.’
Details about how to support the application will be posted on the council’s website.
For more information people can search ‘Gilkicker’ on gosport.gov.uk.