December 20, 2017
£22m plan for Fort Bovisand
Restoration plans get the go ahead for Fort Bovisand
An ambitious project to restore the historic Fort Bovisand site has been given the green light by South Hams District Council and Historic England.
“After owning Fort Bovisand for more than a decade we finally have agreement to a set of exciting plans for its future” said Greg Dyke, Chairman of Fort Bovisand Developments Limited.
The fort is in urgent need of repair and is currently on Historic England’s ‘at risk’ register.
Fort Bovisand is one of the best surviving Palmerston Forts which were built in the 1860s. It went on to become one of the largest and most important commercial diver training centres in Europe.
These exciting regeneration plans will bring new life to the site, and involve the restoration of the fort’s historic buildings, the rebuilding of the access road, improved sea defences for vulnerable parts of the site and the restoration of the harbour.
Two towers in the Upper Fort, which were demolished in the early part of the last century, will be rebuilt in a sympathetic style on their original foundations.
Three of the casemates will provide space for a bistro café, including a rooftop terrace offering stunning views across Plymouth Sound and a further five casemates will be converted into a Visitor Centre and events space to promote an understanding of the history of the site.
Access to the South West Coast Path will be reinstated, allowing walkers to go up from the fort to join the coastal path, or through the fort to use the regular ferry service, which will run between points around Plymouth and Fort Bovisand harbour.
Greg Dyke added: “I am delighted with the planning approval. We acquired this magnificent site over ten years ago. As soon as I saw it and understood its history, I was determined to rescue it.
“Very quickly it became clear that the best chance of saving and restoring the fort was by allowing sensitive development on parts of the site. Both South Hams District Council and Historic England agree with this analysis.”
There will be a total of 81 new homes built as an integral part of the regeneration plan, the overwhelming majority of which will have spectacular sea views from their terraces.
With the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower less than three years away, this is a particularly advantageous time to be restoring and developing the fort and to be creating a brand new Visitor Centre and events space to engage the public and schools.
Once renovated The Fort Bovisand Trust will manage these public facilities and take ongoing care of the fort’s heritage.
Greg Dyke said, “In 2020, Plymouth will be celebrating a long and important history, of which Fort Bovisand played a major part. Our aim is that Fort Bovisand will be ready in time for these celebrations”.
First published in the Plymouth Shopper – December 2017