UPDATE: Due to pressure from Labour Councillors and residents the level path on the golf course side of Fort Gilkicker will be reopened next week.(o7/09/17)
The Solent Way runs along Stokes Bay, past Fort Gilkicker and across the golf course. It’s a walk and an area enjoyed by many of us, for family picnics, great views across the Solent, dog walkers – hundreds of us pass that way every year. But not for much longer.
The luxury development of town houses and apartments (and it’s not affordable housing) at Fort Gilkicker means that the people of Gosport will be denied access to this much-loved route. The access road across the golf course has been sold off with the land. The Conservatives on Gosport Council say they are discussing the issue with developers – why so late in the day? What about the existing public footpaths, and the Solent Way itself?
While welcoming development that finally stops the deterioration of the fort, Gosport Labour Party believes that the public has a right to access areas around the fort and that existing footpaths must be respected.
Councillors June Cully and Keith Farr spoke with the Chief Executive and legal officers yesterday to protest the closure of access to our coastal path at Fort Gilkicker.
The access road was sold by the Council and it has been temporarily widened with the strip purchased from the Stokes Bay Golf Club however it is being eroded on the lagoon side and will be closed when the road has to be raised. We do not agree with the action the developer has taken in preventing level access around the fort as this was a condition put forward by Labour Councillors at the Regulatory Board that decided the planning application. We have asked for urgent action to ensure that we can all including those with reduced mobility access the walk between Gilkicker and Stokes bay promenade. It is not acceptable to close off Council owned land for three years as stated on the notice that the developer has put on the fences and to cut off routes used by residents. We have also told the officers that a suitable alternative route must be provided when work that would put the safety of the public at risk starts and restrictions should only be in place for that period.