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GSD raises questions after Development Plan tender

Pic by Eyleen Gomez

The GSD said news that a tender for a new Development Plan had “at long last” been awarded put a spotlight on delays against the backdrop of a “construction blitz” that has transformed parts of Gibraltar with “little to no planning”.

The GSD said the document should have been ready by 2019, 10 years after the existing plan was published.

“All told this is now 15 years ago,” the party said in a statement.

“All of this delay has materialised as Gibraltar has witnessed a relentless construction blitz and the complete transformation of areas such as Devil’s Tower Road which the GSD and NGOs have decried for having proceeded with very little to no planning.”

“It appears, however, that Gibraltar has to wait for another two years before the plan comes to final fruition.”

“How many more horses will have bolted before the new plan comes to light?”

“This track record is not a cause for celebration as the Minister for Planning would have us believe but an indictment on this Government.”

The GSD said that given this “inordinate delay”, it might make more sense to await the outcome of the negotiations related to the EU treaty.

“Whether we have a free-flowing frontier both in terms of fluidity of people and goods and the significant socio-economic effect that all of that will bring in its wake – with or without a deal - will surely represent a central consideration for those devising the plan,” the party said.

Damon Bossino, the GSD Shadow Minister for Planning, added: “Furthermore, the costs of the plan are not cheap and given that the tender has been given to an outside company, it is assumed that there will have to be substantial input from a local perspective to fully understand and appreciate Gibraltar’s own political, social and cultural demands which someone from outside will be hard pressed to fully appreciate.”

“All of this begs the legitimate question as to whether a plan could have been better devised if led and controlled locally and at, possibly, less expense.”

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