Fort Blockhouse ‘deal sweetener’ could be key to Royal Clarence Yard redevelopment

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

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GOSPORT would accept taking on the costly renovation of Royal Clarence Yard – if Fort Blockhouse was thrown in as a deal sweetener.

That’s the message from Gosport Borough Council’s leader, Councillor Mark Hook.

He said the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) needed to think ‘outside the box’ in regards to a deal for the retained land at Royal Clarence Yard.

At the authority’s latest council meeting on Wednesday night, councillors discussed the option of having Fort Blockhouse thrown into the deal as compensation for the amount of cash they claim it would take to renovate Royal Clarence Yard.

Cllr Hook said the site had a ‘negative market value of £2m’ – cash which the DIO would need to offer any buyer of the historic military hub.

Cllr Hook said the DIO needed to be ‘realistic’ in its approach to selling Royal Clarence Yard.

He told councillors: ‘The ministers and the civil servants need to look at the negative value at that site and see what they can give us that equates to that negative value to make it valuable.

‘The DIO is getting rid of 90 sites across the country, including Fort Blockhouse by 2020, so surely there is a deal that can be brokered.

‘They need to get their act together – if they want a deal then come and talk to us, but be realistic.’

The DIO said it had received no such proposal from the borough council.