Plans filed for stadium project
Detailed plans and architectural drawings for the Gibraltar FA’s proposed national stadium have been filed with the Town Planner ahead of the project being reviewed by the Development and Planning Commission.
The plans filed with the Town Planner offer greater insight into a project that became embroiled in political controversy last year after news that the Gibraltar Savings Bank would invest in the region of £100m in developing the stadium and ancillary residential, commercial and hotel elements.
For the Gibraltar Government, the investment is safe and will generate economic activity while creating an asset of value not just to the football community and fans, but to Gibraltar’s tourism product and the community as a whole.
But the Opposition has raised concerns about the involvement of the bank and the scale of the plan, calling for greater transparency on who will be involved in the project and how it will be financed.
The GFA aims to redevelop the existing stadium into a modern stadium complex compliant with UEFA Category 4 requirements, with an overall capacity of more than 8,000 seats.
The scheme also includes plans for commercial, residential and office space which the GFA has said are essential to make the project viable.
A design statement submitted with the plans explains that the GFA had previously drawn up plans for a smaller 4,700-seat stadium after UEFA amended its Category 4 conditions to all smaller countries to reduce the capacity of their stadiums.
“This allowed the GFA to adapt the capacity and other design elements to Gibraltar’s actual needs resulting in a 2nd proposal,” the design statement said.
“The 2nd proposal (2020) reduced the capacity of the stadium to 4700 seats and the stadium program on the East Side, offering now parking.”
“After evaluating the potential of the site, a decision was made to incorporate business, commercial and housing areas in the new stadium, deeming the proposal insufficient.”
“The design proposal now tabled for the outline consideration is a further development of this process – upgrading the stadium facilities and incorporating the new challenges for the areas of business, commercial and housing necessities.”
The project envisages some 11,738 sq m of space for residential development and over 9,000 sq m for a shopping centre, plus another 3,578 sq m of office space and 4,363 sq m of residential parking.
The residential aspect of the scheme includes plans for 68 one-bedroom 18 two-bedroom apartments.
The stadium itself will have 7,107 sq m of covered space, with the GFA also having over 3,000 sq m of office space.
The pitch, which will be rotated to orientate it from north to south, will cover 8,970 sq m.
The information filed with the Town Planner also covers details such as risk assessments, including the need to comply with hight limitations given the proximity of the runway.
It also covers transport arrangements for the development.