A MAJOR scheme to restore a historic Hampshire naval fort has been unveiled to the public.

Developers have agreed to a deal with former landowners to redevelop the former Fort Gilkicker naval base near Lee-on-the-Solent into 22 townhouses and four luxury flats.

Fort Gilkicker naval fort was originally built between 1863 and 1871 by the Royal Navy which was designed to protect the Hampshire Coast from attacks from foreign vessels.

The fort ceased operating as a coastal defence base in 1956 and has since been left derelict for decades.

The scheme, which is expected to cost over £20m will take three years with work expected to commence later this year.

Andrew Templeton, managing director of Wild Boar Developments Limited, who are overseeing the development of the site said: “There are no other residential developments in the UK like this one, it is an absolute honour to transform such a historic monument, bring it into the 21st century and create homes for those looking for an exclusive and sporting lifestyle in a unique and tranquil environment.”

“As a team, we are looking forward to working with our buyers to ensure they have a say in the key elements of design and interiors to suit their personal taste.”

Planning permission was first granted by Gosport Borough Council back in 2001 however, delays in securing an investor and develop for the site led to constant delays for almost two decades having changed ownership on three separate occasions.

Problems with trespass incidents by schoolchildren at the site last year also led to over 20 police call outs across the summer holidays between July and August along with a major arson attack which damaging a major section of ancient flooring, causing developers to tighten security procedures leaving the site with 24 hr CCTV and security patrols.

Local councillor Alan Scard, said: “I fully support the restoration of plans put forward by the developer to bring it back to its former glory as it was when it was first built.”

“The plans are instrumental in being able to have the site redeveloped because if nothing was done with the fort, then it would simply deteriorate.”

Prospective residents and members of the public will be able to look at the proposals at an exclusive open day at the grade two listed site on Saturday, April 22 between 10 am and 4 pm.