Fort Blockhouse in Gosport is set to transformed into homes and businesses

Fort Blockhouse is is due to be disposed of by The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2025, and could be transformed into a ‘mixed-use development’.

Gosport Borough Council, together with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which is part of the MoD, recently invited consultancy services to conduct a ‘modal shift transport study’ as it explores options for the area and its buildings.

This was done ‘to better understand the opportunities in relation to traffic and transport as part of the likely site-wide redevelopment of Fort Blockhouse’.

Early morning sun lighting up Fort Blockhouse. Picture: Brian Bracher /Compass Aerial
Early morning sun lighting up Fort Blockhouse. Picture: Brian Bracher /Compass Aerial

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the council said: ‘The Fort Blockhouse site, which is due to be released in 2025, is owned by the Ministry of Defence. The DIO is currently working on a masterplan for the area.

‘The council would like to see a mix of residential properties along with marine employment to make use of the deep-water access.

‘Any use would need to be compatible with the historic buildings on the site, along with providing open space and a coastal path. This will be reflected in our emerging Local Plan.’

An MoD spokesperson added: ‘The DIO is working closely with Gosport Borough Council to develop a disposal strategy that aims to unlock the development potential of the Fort Blockhouse 1 site, through the delivery of a potential mix of future uses.’

The council’s emerging local plan states that ‘Gosport Waterfront and the Haslar Peninsula will aim to be a world-class locale for marine industries and sailing and be redeveloped to provide new mixed-use neighbourhoods and marine employment’.

Fort Blockhouse, which is thought to be the UK’s oldest fortification, was built over five centuries starting in 1431 until the mid-1960s. It currently remains as the 33 military field hospital, under the 2nd Medical Brigade.

It also houses a branch of the National Coastwatch Institution, whose members act as lookouts over Portsmouth Harbour.

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