Govt’s proposal for new Sports Centre at Lathbury Barracks
A planning application for a 1,100 seater Lathbury sports facility has been filed with the Town Planner.
The Government project, which does not need planning permission, will see the creation of an Olympic size indoor swimming pool, athletics track and field.
The primary uses will be for competitors and training for swimming and athletics.
Its secondary uses will be for football and rugby training and non-international matches.
The facility will free up both the GASA pool and Victoria Stadium for leisurely swimming and football respectively.
The site will also include an underground two storey car park, which will accommodate short term parking for the Ministry of Defence, sports facility users and visitors to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.
Likewise, long-term parking and storage will be provided for. There will also be a drop off/ pick up area.
The usual auxiliary rooms will be included in the facility, such as café, changing rooms, infirmary, coaching room, gymnasium, lecture room, boardroom, press area and associated offices.
The facility will have 800 seats outside for spectators of the track and field and 300 seats inside for the pool.
Regarding access to the site, the design statement notes that primary access to the site is via Windmill Hill Road and through Devils Bellow tunnel and secondary access is via the Hole in the Wall Road.
In addition, it states: “Even though it is a recently remade road this is not regularly used due to its steepness and awkward junction at the entrance of Dudley Ward Way tunnel. Devils Bellow tunnel Hole in wall abutment with Dudley ward way tunnel entrance The Proposed Upper Rock Nature Reserve entrance needs to be considered within the proposal.”
“It will be located to the north of Devils Below tunnel at the top of Windmill Hill Road. It proposes to use the site for parking, for non-Gibraltarian register cars. It is to have a pedestrian bridge around the fortifications to avoid Devils Bellow tunnel.”
On the actual design, the long jump and triple jump would be located inside the track to minimise the width while still allowing club football and rugby to be played.
The pool house and changing rooms will be sunk into the ground and the spectator seating concertinaed over the outside spectators to further reduce the width of the overall construction.
To minimise light pollution the track and field will be lit to 100lux (luminous emittance) which has been deemed sufficient for training. The Government has assumed that competitions or matches in darkness will not be taking place.
On the winds around the area, the designers have said most strong winds are during winter months, when the athletes will be training and competitions will be mainly held over the summer months.
“We believe that the three meter high wall around the perimeter will provide some protection to the athletes providing a wind shadow of nine meters. A wall higher would not be acceptable aesthetically,” the design statement said.
Both winter rugby and football matches are subject to weather conditions.
On the sustainability of the facility, a recycling plan, which will see glass, paper, metal, plastic, oil and electrics collected and stored separately for pick up. Any hazardous waste will be kept separate and disposed of by a specialist.