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ESG welcomes Development Plan progress

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

The ESG has stated that it has “publicly campaigned and directly lobbied for the urgent update of the current Development Plan” as the present one has not been fit for purpose for some years now.

As a result they welcome the “important step” of a tender being awarded for the creation of a new Development Plan.

“There are many issues which affect planning not least geopolitics, economics, and the wider environment including sustainability and climate change,” said a statement from the ESG.

“The last few decades have witnessed major and multiple, transformational development in Gibraltar which has highlighted the need to rapidly review, control and plan holistically, inclusively, while also respecting existing developments and residential areas. This does not happen sufficiently today.”

"In our view the next development plan can therefore not come forward too soon and we hope every effort will be made to keep the drafting and consultation period as efficient as possible", the statement added.

The ESG noted that while a lot of Gibraltar’s spaces have already been filled with more also earmarked for development, this should not stop people, as a community, from demanding a planning system the community feel better represents “the Gibraltar we want to see and live in.”

“This means greater controls in developed zones to protect people's quality of life and see new developments enhance rather than obliterate or significantly reduce their standard of living,” said the ESG.

“It also means we should already have in place environmental legislation to ensure that all new build follows highest practices to include greatest ability to be practice, as well as during the construction period. “

The ESG believes it’s essential also to protect Gibraltar’s natural beauty and vistas which sets the Rock apart from other nations and attracts visitors. This important element in planning should also be included in the new plan as well as safeguarding our green spaces, it stated.

The ESG hoped that a new development plan will also include the many “sensible and forward looking recommendations” made by a number of key contributors at the Aspire Conference held in Gibraltar recently on quality community development.

“These would guide architects and developers from the start of any project and take responsibility for the Gibraltar we want to live in rather than place that instead onto the 'greener developer',” said the statement.

In addition, they stated that they hope the consultation period will enable “meaningful public feedback because we understand that our population will grow, and we all want to house our families here and this means a short, medium to longterm plan is essential."

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