Iconic Eastney building to be demolished

COMING DOWN The radar tower at Eastney is being demolished
COMING DOWN The radar tower at Eastney is being demolished
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THE site was once used as a location for Doctor Who but, soaring above it, looking like a Dalek itself, the Fraser Range radar tower is itself to be exterminated next week.

The former HMS Saint George barracks is now owned by defence firm QinetiQ and has lain empty since the 1980s.

It is now in a seriously derelict state and the firm, which has offices in Cosham and Gosport, has decided the tower needs to come down.

A spokesman for the firm said that although the former radar and trials tower is on privately-owned land, it has to be knocked down because trespassers keep climbing on it.

He added: ‘We’ve got quite strict security on site, with 8ft high fences, but we do have a problem with trespassers.

‘The tower has been used by people to climb on, and it’s not safe.

‘We have a duty of care to protect the site, so it makes sense to knock the tower down so it reduces the chance of anyone getting hurt.’

The site was owned by the Ministry of Defence, and was used to test-fire weapons, as well as run radar trials.

The noise from the guns, which were fired up to three times every day, could be heard and the vibrations felt all across Portsmouth.

There were plans to redevelop the site and build 131 apartments, but those plans have now been withdrawn after local opposition to them.

The beach at the front of the establishment is actually private, but the public have always walked around the area and the beach is used by nudists despite an attempt by QinetiQ to stop them accessing the site.

There have been convictions after the site was targeted by metal thieves in 2011.

Ward councillor Luke Stubbs said: ‘The building has been empty for a long time. It’s an ugly set of buildings.

‘I would have no objections to getting rid of the whole thing.

‘There have been a number of problems with break-ins and drug taking and things like that.

‘There’s no security on the site so it is a focus for anti-social behaviour. I think this is good news.’