An attempt by The Dover Society to persuade English Heritage to take over the ownership of the impressive Citadel on Dover’s Western Heights has failed.
The Citadel, surrounded by a dry moat, is the central 33-acre fortification on the Western Heights, now on the market for sale by the Home Office freehold with vacant possession. Over the years The Citadel has been a military fort, army barracks, a prison and borstal and was last used to accommodate asylum seekers.
The Dover Society, fearing for the future of the impressive property, tried to persuade English Heritage to buy it or to acquire it through an arrangement with the Home Office.
“We are concerned The Citadel, towering over the town, could fall into the hands of an uncaring developer. So we approached English Heritage which owns much of the rest of the Western Heights,” explained a Dover Society spokesman.
But this week it was revealed English Heritage had replied to The Dover Society saying it could not afford such a purchase.
“We could only take it over if the Home Office gifted The Citadel to us, with a financial dowry,” was the response. The dowry would then be used for the upkeep of the property in the future.
Agents, acting for the Home Office for the sale of The Citadel, suggest one of the possible future uses of the property is a hotel offering dramatic views of the English Channel. Or for housing.