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GSD welcomes affordable homes contracts after ‘unacceptable’ delays

Pic by Eyleen Gomez

The GSD yesterday welcomed the announcement of tender awards for Chatham Views and Sir Bob Peliza Mews, but added that it “persists in its observations that the huge and significant delays are unacceptable”.

In a statement, the GSD’s Damon Bossino said the delays in construction had not only impacted on families looking to purchase these properties, but also “future generations who face an uncertain future as there are no further developments in the horizon”.

The Gibraltar Government this week announced contracts worth £163.4m for the affordable housing projects to go to SITUS Construction Group and GJBS.

Over the past weeks, delays to the construction of these estates have been the centre of a dispute between the Gibraltar Government and the GSD.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo wrote to purchasers to explain construction has been delayed due to Brexit and Covid and it would honour the original price despite an increase in construction costs.

The Government added that “no stone has been left unturned” in trying to deliver the homes sooner.

But the GSD yesterday said these projects have been used for “electoral purposes” in three consecutive elections with the Government making announcements about them in 2015, 2017, 2019 and “now that we are at the doors” of the 2023 election.

“The difference is that the bare and cold facts eventually catch up with you and purchasers’ patience has quite justifiably run out,” the GSD said.

“With Government finances under pressure it is also of serious concern that all projects are the subject of increased construction costs, with Hassan Centenary running at an excess now of £30M and the others also the subject of significant increases.”

Mr Bossino said: “Despite the attempt at gloss with the now tiresome and oft repeated audit of the number of houses expected to be delivered, the reality is that many families are facing the prospect of all the flats being heavily delayed by many years.”

“This has an impact not just on these families but on future generations who face an uncertain future as there are no further developments in the horizon.”

“A lost generation indeed.”

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