The Maritime and Coastguard Agency Training Centre is made up of a total of nine buildings, which since being abandoned have been smashed and vandalised. Shards of glass crunched under our feet, making any kind of stealthy walk impossible as we meandered our way through the heavily-overlooked site. Graffiti lined every wall, and one room was severely fire-damaged- though melted fittings made for some unique photos, it’s always a shame to see a site in such a sorry state.
The cluster of now-decrepit buildings sit in an idyllic location, just back from the beach and with prime views out to sea. The sea breeze now flows freely through the no-longer-glazed windows, bringing the building to life as gusts stir doors which haven’t seen use since the site closed in 2014.
The site was initially opened in 1943 as a signals research and development establishment operated by the Ministry of Defence. The MOD developed RADAR, night vision, radio and optical fibre technology here up until 1980, when the site was repurposed for Coastguard training. It remained in use up until 2014, when the Maritime and Coastguard Agency moved all their training to a new, larger, purpose-built facility in Fareham. A planning document at the time stated “By selling the existing site for development, the MCA hope to fund the new facility at Fareham which will consist of more efficient and modern facilities.”
Multiple plans have been submitted for the site’s redevelopment, the most recent being for 17 flats and 9 houses. Though the site’s unique beach-side location may have made it appear very lucrative for the developer, it has also contributed to many plans being rejected. Issues such as protecting the ecology of the site, providing the affordable houses required on new developments, and current residents’ complains about parking and access have hampered all planning applications so far. If houses are ever built on the site, they will certainly come with a good view.
Last Updated on 28 February 2022 by Michael