The Disposal of Fort Blockhouse

The announcement that Fort Blockhouse is to be disposed of, together with the derelict land and Royal Clarence Yard, comes on the heels of the recently-announced disposal of the prison at Haslar. The Council has already opened bidding for the site of the bus station.

‘It is a great step forward that so much of the government estate is to be released for other use. Blockhouse in particular and the old quays at HMS Dolphin have immense potential to bring a whole new segment of the yachting industry to Gosport’ said Peter Cardy, chairman of Gosport Marine Scene.

He continued ‘This gives the potential to plan virtually the whole of the Gosport waterfront from Haslar Wall to Forton Lake. It is an opportunity the Council, with the support of Caroline Dinenage, MP and the Local Enterprise Partnership should grasp.’

‘For the first time in centuries the waterfront will be freed up for civilian use. Neglect, pollution and dereliction mean it will be costly to restore some of the sites, but together they are unique in the country and they need to be managed together. Boatbuilding and repair, berthing and servicing and all the associated marine businesses will be interested in this, internationally as well as nationally.’ 

‘Let’s not forget the heritage aspect. These are sites of great historic importance with powerful associations and their role in our naval past needs to be promoted. There are treasures too. The elegant wardroom at Blockhouse is home to one of the great friezes of ship paintings by Harold Wyllie (the other is at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth). At present the public can rarely see them – in future they should be on public display.’