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  • On Questions of Planning and Town Area 271014

    The ESG was recently quoted in a Chronicle article writing about how Tall Buildings pose tough questions for Town Planners.  (see Monday edition 27th October)

    This came about after the last DPC (Development and Planning Commission) meeting where an application was approved for a developer to restore two historic buildings on Town Range with the further permission to construct several more storeys above them. Reasoning came from the need for costs to be generated in order to be able to do these restorations successfully.

    However, many feel, including the ESG, that the current Development Plan is granting permission outside the city walls for high rise buildings because it takes the pressure out of building these within the old town. Still, although a number of buildings have been and are being restored pretty much to their original size, a few have got through the net with Town Range, following the Risso Bakery fiasco. Care must be taken to control these anomalies and hopefully prevent others from suffering similar fate.

    The key points made by the ESG to the media when asked are as follows:-

    The situation is a complex one  and there is a need for a proper public debate with all stakeholders  to ensure that the issue is tackled properly.

    The ESG believes there are many examples of good heritage management around us today, Heritage Trust Main Guard, Police Barracks project, cleaning up of the main wall for walking and pedestrians and the work also at Wellington Front, as well as other important historic buildings.

    However, the failure by our community and the planning system to save Risso Bakery raises concerns. Yes, there were structural and safety issues with the bakery but it was clear there were also cost implications of working around its preservation. This building was important to many, in a prominent part of town, and hence integral part of the town landscape, and could be replaced by an unattractive, large building of little architectural merit. Lets hope not.
    This week another project was approved, this time for the sensitive restoration of two original and protected buildings at Town Range. The applicant presented plans that outlined the entire project that was to include a further 5 or 6 storeys to be added above the restored buildings in order to generate enough cash to carry out restoration.
    Once again we face the quandary of either leaving such historic buildings untouched and left to deteriorate completely, or agreeing to allow their restoration with the price of considerable new build factored into the equation, the latter also radically altering our town landscape.
    Its also difficult to expect private building owners to provide low cost housing, due to rent controls, and then be expected to invest huge amounts of money in the maintenance of old buildings. If this continues within a few years there will be few old buildings left to protect, nor will there be any low cost rental of pre war houses available.This means that it makes economic sense for them to let the building fall into such a state of neglect and disrepair that it makes them unlivable. Next they are sold for huge amounts of money to private developers who then put a lot of pressure to develop them at DPC and make a profit at the cost of the loss of our heritage.
    This issue needs to be addressed in a holistic manner by those working on Gibraltar’s Heritage interests and hopefully with the power to do something about it.  

    ESG Radio Newsletter 301014

    ESG Radio Broadcast 30th October 2014


    “Tomorrow morning the ESG co-ordinates the removal of several one ton sacks of waste from Seven Sisters, and we are reminded, once again, of the very positive way that the Clean up the World campaign pulls together the necessary muscle and community resources to get these difficult jobs done.

    The large volume of plastic and other marine debris that piles up on the shores of this very beautiful part of Gibraltar’s coastline, in between each Clean up, is collected, sorted and set aside for a suitable time that GibDock can assist in craning this out of the area.  We therefore thank all those concerned whose efforts and collaboration make this possible each year.

    In 2014 this has involved the Gibraltar Defence Police marine transport, the Dept of the Environment, GibDock, Gibraltar Community Support Services and Master Services.

    So it brings me to an important announcement, and one, of which we are very proud, is that at last nights Heritage Trust Awards, the ESG was one of those chosen to receive a group heritage award for our efforts these past ten years in campaigning and working for a better environment in Gibraltar under the Clean up the World banner.

    I was very pleased to accept this on behalf of the ESG and all those hundreds of hard working volunteers over the past ten years, from every sector of our community, who come back, time and again, to support this hands-on campaign. One that raises much awareness, transforms some hotspot areas, or starts a chain reaction in others, which subsequently receive badly needed, and long-term attention. This campaign works because of its cross-community nature.

    We are grateful to the Heritage Trust for recognising the value the Clean up the World Campaign represents for Gibraltar’s built and natural environment with this special award.

    Finally, just to say that teams have already started to sign up for 2015, and although it is yet to be confirmed, we are looking at the weekend of the 19th/20th September as potential key dates.


    You can register by emailing: esg@gibtelecom.net  or calling 20048996.

    More information will soon be published on our website which you can find at: esg-gib.net.

    Thanks for listening.”









    Hazards of EMF radiation lecture by Professor Johansson


    Lecture by Professor Olle Johansson         9th October 2014


    The ESG wishes to publicly thank the eminent Professor Olle Johansson for giving Gibraltar the opportunity to hear his authoritative delivery on the question of EMF radiation and impacts on health; and on how the world is dealing with this important matter, if at all.


    The talk began at 7pm, in the Charles Hunt Room, which was filled to capacity, and the audience listened avidly to the lecture for a couple of hours. This was followed by a further hour of question and answer session from an animated and clearly informed public audience. Indeed, it was only the closure of John Macintosh Hall itself that curtailed further questioning of the professor. We were all left certainly wanting to hear more.


    With the help of community donations, the ESG has also been able to commission the filming of the entire lecture that will be posted online and should satisfy many who have been in touch concerned they were missing the talk.


    The ESG wish to announce that further talks are planned and it will be maintaining its public awareness campaign on this and other related issues, which affect us all.


    The ESG is also grateful to the Caleta Hotel for their kind hospitality of this important visitor to Gibraltar.






    Government awards contract for Sewage Treatment

    The ESG welcomes Governments’s announcement yesterday that it has awarded the contract for proper treatment of our sewage waters. This has been on our wishlist for many years and an issue we have long campaigned on. Therefore we are very pleased to hear of this development and further hope to see the completion of this project as soon as possible.

    Radio Newsletter 2nd October 2014


    • There is so much to report on today that we won’t have enough time to cover everything.  As usual, we shall refer you to follow up on issues that may interest you on our website – esg-gib.net … : BUT! Due to unforeseen circumstances and really bad timing our website went down during the clean up and we are presently restoring it. Should be back to normal by the weekend. Reports on the success and efforts by our CUTW volunteers, the inspiring visit by Xavier Van de Stappen and his push for electric power, the hugely attended Airport Display, the first electric car rally on the Rock, CUTW exhibition and more will be posted in neat summaries with pictures on the website and Facebook pages very soon. Thanks to everyone who supported all these events. The Chronicle will hopefully soon publish their usual great spread showing the community support for all Clean up related events, this time also actively supported by Ministers Cortes, Garcia and Linares.
    • Also in the news today is that finally, after decades of debate about the enormous energy potential in the great Saharan desert, the news agency Reuters, has announced that tenders are just days away from being awarded to an agglomeration of countries and companies, funded by European and global institutions to build two massive solar plants with a combined output of 300MW in Morocco – its an incredibly interesting story with lots of positive implications and you may like to catch up on this at: planetark.org. Great when investment meets the right policy and technology
    •  Locally we would like to remind listeners of the next DPC meeting-taking place on the 22nd October at the Charles Hunt Room at 10.00am. Its possible that the application by Vemaoil to permanently set itself up at the Detached Mole will be on that agenda – all items will be confirmed a week beforehand and also available online. Nearby residents have already been in touch with the ESG to express concern about the potential environmental impacts this could bring. The ESG is preparing its own submission on this for the DPC meeting
    • The ESG expressed concerns about the lack of a clear timeline for the new power station recently – an issue, which has been making headlines this week. The group will be meeting with the Minister on this very soon to urge, as we did back in April, for technical reports and a clear timeline for completion to be made public to demonstrate the level of focus this issue is getting behind the scenes.
    • The ESG will be commenting separately on the recent visit by the Minister of the Environment and his team to the Climate Change Conference
    • Finally we would like to announce the visit next week of an eminent scientist and world-leading authority in the field of EMF radiation and health effects. Professor Olle Johansson of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden, will be giving a public talk at the Charles Hunt Room, John Mackintosh Hall at 7pm, on the 7th October. This forms part of the ESG’s effort to raise awareness about the need for safe use of all modern, electronic technology, as well as the need for the precautionary principle when setting up the servicing network via the mobile masts. We urge you to come along and hear what the Professor, who is world renowned, has to say on the issue of “does this affect our health? Burning issues that will be debated on Tuesday, hope to see you there. Everyone is welcome!! ESG will also be outside Morrison’s on Sunday during the lunch hour to provide more information on the lecture.

    ESG invites you to a public talk by Professor Johansson..read more

    The ESG is very pleased to announce the arrival of Professor Olle Johansson in Gibraltar next week who will be delivering a number of private and public talks. Professor Johansson is a world-leading authority in the field of EMF radiation and health effects.


    We have invited him over to share his expert views on the hazards of Mobile Phones, masts and Wi-Fi as part of our wider campaign of promoting best and safest use of such technology, so popular and essential in our lives today.


    Whatever your views, don’t miss this chance of hearing Professor Johansson on Tuesday 7th October  at 7pm, at the Charles Hunt Room, John Mackintosh Hall. Entry is free.


    Please see his biography below:-

    Professor Olle Johansson’s Scientific Background:

    Olle Johansson, associate professor, head of the Experimental Dermatology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, at the Karolinska Institute (famous for it’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine) in Stockholm, Sweden, is a world-leading authority in the field of EMF radiation and health effects. He has published more than 500 original articles, reviews, book chapters and conference reports within the field of basic and applied neuroscience. He has worked with a number of international colleagues that, later on, became Nobel Laureates, including professors Andrew V. Schally and Roger Guillemin among several.

    His doctoral thesis at the Karolinska Institute had the title “Peptide Neurons in the Central and Peripheral Nervous System. Light and Electron Microscopic Studies”. He has participated in more than 300 congresses and symposia as an invited speaker, and with free contributions and as an invited ‘observer’ at an additional 100.

    He is a member of: The European Neuroscience Association (ENA), The European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR), IBAS Users of Scandinavia (IBUS), The International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), The International Society for Stereology (ISS), The New York Academy of Sciences, The Royal Microscopical Society (RMS), Scandinavian Society for Electron Microscopy (SCANDEM), The Skin Pharmacology Society (SPS), Society for Neuroscience, Svenska Fysiologföreningen, Svenska Intressegruppen för Grafisk Databehandling (SIGRAD), Svenska Läkaresällskapet, and the Svenska Sällskapet för Automatiserad Bildanalys (SSAB).

    He is often used as referee for a large number of scientific journals, including the Acta Dermato-Venereologica, Acta Obstetrica & Gynecologica, Acta Physiologica Scandinavica, Acta Stereologica, Archives of Dermatological Research, Brain Research, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Diabetologia, European Journal of Dermatology, Experimental Brain Research, Experimental Dermatology, Histochemical Journal, Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, Journal of Comparative Neurology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Journal of Microscopy, Neurobiology, Neuroscience, Regulatory Peptides, and Skin Pharmacology.

    He has on-going international scientific collaborations with: Japan, Brazil, India, Serbia, Thailand and USA. His studies have been widely recognised in the public media, including newspapers, radio and TV as well as on the Internet, both nationally as well as internationally.

    Examples of papers published:

    Johansson O, Liu P-Y, “”Electrosensitivity”, “electrosupersensitivity” and “screen dermatitis”: preliminary observations from on-going studies in the human skin”, In: Proceedings of the COST 244: Biomedical Effects of Electromagnetic Fields – Workshop on Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (ed. D Simunic), EU/EC (DG XIII), Brussels/Graz, 1995, pp 52- 57

    Södergren L, Johansson O, “Commentary: Mobile telephones – will the golden goose become the mad cow?”, J Aust Coll Nutr & Env Med 2001; 20: 29-30

    Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, “Melanoma incidence and frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting”, Arch Environ Health 2002; 57: 32-40

    Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, “Malignant melanoma of the skin – not a sunshine story!”, Med Sci Monit 2004; 10: CR336- 340

    Johansson O, “Elöverkänslighet – en form av strålskada” (=”Electrohypersensitivity – a kind of irradiation damage”, in Swedish), Tf-bladet 2004; (3): 12-13

    Johansson O, “Electrohypersensitivity: Observations in the human skin of a physical impairment”, Symposium on “Electrical Sensitivity in Human Beings”, Royal Society of Medicine, London, U.K., September 11, 2004 (abstr.)

    Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, “Does GSM 1800 MHz affect the public health in Sweden?”, In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop “Biological Effects of EMFs”, Kos, Greece, October 4-8, 2004

    Hallberg Ö, Johansson O, “Long-term sickness and mobile phone use”, J Aust Coll Nutr & Env Med 2004; 23: 11-12

    Johansson O, “Evidence for effects on the immune system”, In: The BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically- based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF) (eds. CF Blackman, M Blank, M Kundi, C Sage), 2007, Section 8, http://www.bioinitiative.org

    ESG on Power Station 2nd October 2014



    Re POWER STATION 30/09/14

     The ESG wishes to take up an important issue raised during a GBC interview with Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Joseph Garcia recently, regarding the expected completion of the next state of the art, compliant, power station for Gibraltar.

    The group has lobbied for the past 14 years for such a facility and it regrets that in spite of assurances given repeatedly by the present Government:  that a new station would, in fact, be completed within the same time frame as the previous GSD project, that we now hear this is not going to happen.

    The Department of the Environment is now spending money on a year long campaign to reduce power use, this unfortunately won’t move the new power station along, reduce pollution from the ageing power stations or indeed reduce energy use given that all the new government housing will now come on line before the new power station is completed. Despite this campaign the energy demand in Gibraltar will unfortunately substantially increase in the next few months and we can therefore expect more pollution and noise from our ageing power stations.


    The wisdom of placing further load on our aged infrastructure, and more demand on an obsolete power generation infrastructure, does not bode well for the future.