A COUNCIL economic board are determined to get the best deal for the tax payer over the development of a derelict fort.
Planning applications to develop Fort Gilkicker, in Gosport, were first approved in October 2001. But since then nothing has happened at the former naval fort.
‘Our objective is to represent the council tax payers of Gosport and ensure that we are not left out of pocket.Councillor Stephen Philpott
Plans were submitted to build 26 luxury homes on the site in 2013, but Gosport Borough Council, which owns the freehold part of the site, still has questions it wants to ask developers before a deal is struck.
Members of the Economic Development Board were involved in a lengthy discussion on the matter behind closed doors.
Councillor Stephen Philpott, chairman of the board, said: ‘We have unanimously decided to go back to the developer regarding the sale of Fort Gilkicker.
‘There have been a few things that have delayed the process, such as the golf club having a long lease and the MoD being involved.
‘The meeting was all about “crossing the Ts and dotting the Is”. There were members who had a couple of issues with the plans in question but there’s no doubt that everyone wants the development to go ahead.
‘Our objective is to represent the council tax payers of Gosport and ensure that we are not left out of pocket.
‘I warn all parents to keep an eye and tell their children not to go enter the area as there are many hidden mysteries lying about.’
Councillor Alan Scand, who represents the Anglesey ward which includes Gilkicker, said: ‘It looks like we’re gradually getting there. However, it will take time given how old the fort is.’
Ian Pierce, chief executive of developer Fort Gilkicker Properties Ltd, says a deal is closer to being done,
Mr Pierce said: ‘We have agreed terms with an investor.
‘It has been difficult but we’re expecting a deal to be done in about a month.’