Govt will stop controversial development at Queensway Quay
The Gibraltar Government has backed a campaign to save the Queensway Quay marina and vowed to stop plans for a major development there should it be returned to government after the next general election.
In a statement the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “There will be a general election before the end of the year. If I am returned to office as Chief Minister then this development will simply not happen.”
The Government’s stance was welcomed by the GSD whose leader Keith Azopardi insisted it represented a vindication of the position taken by the GSD months ago.
“We are glad the Government now agrees with us on this issue,” Mr Azopardi said, adding: “It is about time that they did and listened to people on this.”
This follows the launch of a campaign by newly formed action group ‘Save Queensway Quay’, to oppose the prospective extensive development of the area.
The Government said it supports the campaign and agrees with the need to protect the area from over-development.
“These concerns have already been expressed in statements made by Government Ministers to the Development and Planning Commission and later to the media,” a government statement read.
The Government said developers are free to submit planning applications to the DPC but this in no way means that those developments are ever going to see the light of day.
The Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said: “The Government has already expressed serious concerns about this development both in public and in private to concerned residents.”
“We recently announced that a number of new open areas could be created in different parts of Gibraltar and that development would be stopped and scaled back on a number of Government-owned plots.”
“The tender for a new Development Plan has already been issued. Our opposition to this development must be seen in that context.”
Mr Picardo added: “We fully sympathise and agree with the sentiments expressed by residents of the area and entirely support the campaign to save Queensway Quay.”
Although the move was welcomed by the GSD generally, Mr Azopardi added that the decision has been taken in the run up to a general election and was therefore “obviously transparent and unprincipled”.
“It is hollow that they should distance themselves from the project that cannot have been tabled without discussions with Government having been held behind closed doors,” he said.
“This is not about the GSLP’s commitment to better planning but a worry about votes. Be that as it may the decision will be welcome to many people.”
“We had said months ago that we were against the development and would not allow it if elected to Government,” he said adding that the GSD has a firm commitment to strategic planning.
“The residents of Queensway Quay will not forget that this promise comes late and how it has emerged.”
“It is a real shame that the GSLP who seem to govern by what they hear on social media and not on principle have not also heard the voices of the hundreds of people against the Queen’s Cinema development.”
“And why is the Victoria Keys development protected from review? There should now be a revisiting of that development also.”