WORK to convert a former Royal Navy fort into luxury homes could start next year after a deal has finally been struck.
Fort Gilkicker, in Gosport, was once a powerful military base that was designed to sweep approaches to Portsmouth Harbour with gunfire however it has been derelict for several decades.
It has been a long, hard slog to finally get to this stage and we are very excited.Andrew Temperton
Gosport Borough Council first passed planning permission to convert the fort into luxury homes in 2001 but a developer was not found during the allotted period.
However, Wild Boar Developments have agreed a deal with the former land owners to transform the site into the 22 townhouses and four luxury flats in what will be a £20m project, and hope to complete the project in the next three years
Andrew Temperton, managing director of Wild Boar Developments, says that he is very excited about the development going ahead.
Mr Temperton, 49, said: ‘We have finally got there.
‘It has been a long, hard slog to finally get to this stage and we are very excited.
‘We are probably going to be spending the next six months planning but I hope to be started by the end of next year.
‘It is a fascinating building and people who are looking to invest will get a stunning conservation, a high level of specification, a stunning outlook over the Solent and a piece of history.’
As reported by The News, a freedom of information request found police were called to the site 21 times during the summer holidays.
Now under full control, Mr Temperton also insists security will improve to enclose the site.
Anglesey ward councillor Alan Scard said: ‘It is brilliant news and I am delighted for them.
‘But I know they will have a lot of work to do.
‘It may take a couple of years to dry out.
‘Now we have established the new owners, we can do something about the people who have been getting in.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘The new owners have a fantastic opportunity to restore these amazing buildings and bring them back into use.
‘I hope they are able to do so, as this site has the potential to be a great boost for Gosport.’