Horse Sand Fort is situated in the Solent, between Southsea and the Isle of Wight, and is one of three similar sea forts constructed between 1865 and 1880 to head off the threat of seaborne invasion from France. The reputed original construction cost was £425,000!
Extending to 9,197 sq.m. (99,000 sq.ft), the original fort was constructed over four levels, the middle two of which housed some 45 cannon, with further armaments on the roof. An inner courtyard housed accommodation and a well. In the Second World War additional structures were added to the upper storey, including look-out posts and anti-aircraft guns which were used to protect the nearby Portsmouth Dockyard.
The nearby sister forts, No Mans and the smaller Spitbank, have both enjoyed a new lease of life in recent years with multi-million pound conversion into hotel and wedding/weekend retreat locations, but Horse Sand Fort is still in much the same condition as it was when it was surplus to MOD requirements in the 1960s.
A Planning Consent has previously been obtained for conversion to form 14 residential apartments, though this was not implemented. Horse Sand Fort now offers a clean slate and numerous future potential commercial or residential uses for the new owners, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.
Planning Permission was granted by Portsmouth City Council, under ref: A*38587/AA, dated 1st April 2004, for conversion to form 14 apartments, subject to conditions, but this consent was never implemented so has now lapsed.
A copy of the lapsed Planning Consent and proposed plans will be available to download from the Clive Emson website, inspection at the Auctioneers Office, or via the Portsmouth City Council website.
Prospective purchasers viewing the fort are advised to dress appropriately for an autumn boat journey on the Solent and to inspect a building that is in need of significant upgrading and refurbishment. We would particularly advise walking boots/shoes be worn.
All interested applicants are advised that they view at their own risk, and they will be asked by the Sellers to sign a waiver form to this effect prior to embarkation.
Unless by special arrangement with the auctioneers, prospective purchasers can only view in parties of two, due to the limitations on transport. For health and safety reasons we regret nobody under the age of 14 will be allowed to attend viewings.
Viewing is strictly by appointment, with the Auctioneers and are to be made via telephone or in person at the Auctioneers Office.
Local Planning Authority
Portsmouth City Council. Tel: 023 9283 4334. Website: portsmouth.gov.uk.
Horse Sand Fort has been with its present owners for around eight years, and over this period of time they have gleaned a good deal of information in respect of the water supply (well) and the use of generators etc. on the Fort. The present owners will have a representative accompanying viewing appointments to answer questions on all matters relating to the Fort and have also indicated a willingness to enter into discussions with would-be purchasers and pass on the knowledge at their disposal.
There is also a 3D model of the fort availble. Please note that you will need to register for an account to view this, however this is free of charge .Click here to view.