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DPC sets height limit on town project

In an unusual but not unique decision, the Development and Planning Commission yesterday restricted a development within the city walls on the basis of height rather than the number of storeys.
Due to its location, 28A-34 Turnbull’s Lane falls under the guidance of the Development Plan 2009 which states that buildings over five storeys should only be permitted in exceptional circumstances.
The applicant is seeking permission for a seven-storey building, although two of these floors will be set back from Turnbull’s Lane.
The developer aims to keep the existing façade, which is three storeys high, but is also seeking permission to move the location of the windows so as to increase the number of storeys the building can accommodate.
It was decided that instead of giving permission for a number of floors, the developer could create as many floors as it wished up to 16 metres in the front of the building and up to 22 metres in total for the storeys that are to be set back.
The DPC did not permit the alternations to the façade regarding the windows and suggested that the applicant together with their architect - neither of whom was present - come back with new plans.
While the commission noted that the number of storeys that potentially could be created due to the height contravened the Development Plan 2009, it believes that the location can take the height due to how tall nearby buildings are and the narrowness of the lane.
The view of the property from other areas of Gibraltar is also restricted and therefore does not have a considerable visual impact.
The building does not have a heritage value and is at present dilapidated.
However it does have “vernacular value” the commission was told.
Cannon Lane
Approval was given to the development at 6-12 Cannon Lane following the applicant making alterations on the recommendations of the DPC on the previously submitted plans.
The new plans see the removal of the lift shaft, which reduces the height of the development, as well as the retention of the façade with no adjustments for the windows.
The developer was asked to consider creating a green area such as a roof garden.
An archaeological watch and desk-based assessment will have to be carried out.
Cornwall’s Centre
An application to create a gym on the ground floor of the Cornwall Centre was refused yesterday amid concerns that it changes the street scape of the area, the loss of a courtyard, the extension encroaches onto open space and the gym may result in an increase in traffic to the area.
The issue of how the gym would be advertised was also raised with concerns given to the establishment desiring one day to screen off the windows so that gym users are given more privacy as this has happened on previous occasions.
Ex-Incinerator Site – Europa Advance Road
Permission was granted for the creation of a waste management plant for the ex-incinerator site, the plant would see the capacity for recycling increase in Gibraltar.
The commission was told that in the space of two years Gibraltar’s Eco Park had already recycled two million kilograms of cardboard. In addition, it was told the plant would create 60 new jobs, some of which would be skilled workers.
The plant will be fully enclosed, including the temporary storage rubbish pit and will incorporate landscape screening in a bid to reduce the impact on the vista. Its sorting cabin will be supplied with fresh filtered air under positive pressure, will incorporate a dust and odour suppression system and netting for apes.
According to the applicant, the plant is scalable which means it can grow and adapt to any future needs the Rock may have.
The applicant also said that, “Gibraltar will become self-sufficient in its waste management.
Gibraltar’s waste will become a commodity which can be shipped worldwide and Gibraltar’s carbon emission will improve and the need to purchase carbon credits reduce.”
Other projects
Local automobile company Bassadone received outline planning permission for the creation of its ‘Auto World’ at 78 Queensway.
The facility will accommodate 120 at any one time and will allow the company to export vehicles via the sea, as it did during the last Ebola crisis.
Outline planning approval was also given to the applicant of 1 Corral Road, with provisions such as the drop off zone which would see vehicles reversing onto a main road be addressed, windows on the east side of the structure which overlooks Laguna is looked into and the exterior of the building is changed.
The applicant is seeking to build an Intercontinental Indigo Hotel, which will have 105 rooms. Permission had previously been granted for this site, which was to create more office space. However, the new plans see an increase in height of three metres.
The Old Police Station on Irish Town gained full planning permission following the applicant taking on board all suggestions made by the DPC at outline planning stage.
The Government’s plan to bring a shooting range to the top of the Midtown Car Park drew surprise from some commission members, with one stating they were “speechless” at the proposal.
The previous site considered for the range was Nun’s Well, however due to its proximity to the mosque and a children’s playground it was deemed unsuitable.
Due to space limitations in Gibraltar the number of locations such a range could be situated is low the commission was told.
One commission member expressed their concern that there will be live ammunition held onsite and that members of the public will have to share facilities such as a lift with someone who is carrying a weapon and live ammunition.
However, they were told this was not an issue for the DPC and it was the commission job to provide advice to the Government on the building and the impact that may have if any.
The Government does not need planning permission from the DPC for any of its projects.

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