Campaigning to Save the Beach
This site is for anyone interested in saving Eastney Beach (Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK) for continued naturist use.
Our objective is to ensure that the planned redevelopment, of the disused MoD site (Fraser Range) behind the beach into several high-rise blocks of apartments, does not threaten the continued use of Eastney Beach by the public and by naturists.
The radar tower & research centre at Fraser Range doesn’t make the most attractive of pictures, but the view from the beach out to the Eastern Solent and the Isle of Wight is glorious!
And it’s quiet, with little passing traffic, making it ideal for naturists…
Eastney Beach has been used by Naturists for decades.
The Council even recognise this fact – they’ve put up a handy sign, although the beach isn’t recognised as an official naturist beach.
What’s the problem?
QinetiQ are the freeholders of an area of land located at the south-eastern corner ofPortsea Island, incorporating a shingle beach down to mean high water mark, previously known as Fraser Range. The northern boundary of their premises abuts FortCumberland, a Scheduled Ancient Monument incorporating Listed Buildings, and a small section of land within the ownership of Southern Water Services Ltd.
The northwest/ west boundary abuts an area of public open space and the Southsea Caravan Park [part of which is used for the laying up of boats/yachts]. The area subject of the planning application, however, includes part of Fort Cumberland Road, and the access road that connects Fort Cumberland Road to the Fraser site together with a narrow strip of the adjoining land [owned by Portsmouth City Council].
Fraser had been used by the MoD as a firing range and for gunnery training for a significant period of time following the 2nd World War. In comparatively recent times the emphasis on training waned in favour of research and development of electronic and radar detection systems complementing the DERA facility at Portsdown.
Since the privatisation of the Defence and Evaluation Research Agency and subsequent formation of QinetiQ in its place, the latter have sought to make more effective use of the corporate estate. As part of that process QinetiQ activities on the Fraser site have been redeployed to Portsdown Technology Park and the site has been declared surplus to requirements.
The Planning Committee resolved to grant permission (subject to conditions – not yet met) on an outline planning application (A*26996/AP) to build 3 large blocks of flats, 131 apartments, directly overlooking the naturist beach. Although they have yet to submit a detailed planning application or to start demolishing the existing radar station.
Our concerns include:
- As development of the site progresses we’ll be ‘encouraged’ to stay off the beach (for Health & Safety reasons, of course!).
- Once the flats are occupied, there’ll be attempts to move us off the beach then too.
- How many Naturists will be confident enough to continue using the beach, being overlooked by 3 large blocks of flats