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ESG urges greater engagement with public on Eastside development

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

The Environmental Safety Group (ESG) has called for more information to be shared with the community at each stage of the Eastside development, and for careful monitoring of its environmental impact.

It was reacting after last week’s news that the east side plot had been handed by the Gibraltar Government to developer TNG Global Foundation on payment of a £90m premium.

The group noted that at a key Development and Planning Commission (DPC) meeting last year, outline planning permission was granted for the land and marina projects, subject to concerns over environmental impacts being addressed.

The ESG is now calling for ongoing monitoring throughout the lengthy construction period of up to a decade to ensure that predicted outcomes – including to real impact on the marine environment or water quality - are accurate.

The group also noted that plans to reduce small boat berths to half of what was originally planned – from 400 berths to 200 - could lead to reconfiguration or a reduction in the marina's size.

The ESG asked whether plans were being revised or not.

In addition, the ESG called for grater public engagement to enable dialogue and a fuller appreciation of the project vision.

“Projects of such a transformational nature, changing the face of the Caleta area forever, should see additional promotion and public outreach outside of the planning process itself, by way of public exhibitions and models,” the ESG said, adding this request was positively responded to by TNG at the DPC meeting.

The ESG is hopeful that such steps will be taken soon.

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