• Search
    Latest News
  • ESG Radio Newsletter 29th January 2015

    ESG Radio Newsletter 29th January 2015



    Hi there-  the start of a year is always busy and 2015 is no different as we participate in the first ever Gib Talks, prepare to give a number of talks, and gear ourselves up for the upcoming election.


    During our last newsletter we referred to this weeks DPC meeting which took place yesterday. Among the 30 or so applications were some that caught our interest, indeed some have already been reported in the local press. We would like to touch upon these as we consider them to be of public interest and impacting on our environment.


    These are mobile phone antennaes, the open space next to prison car park, extensions at the Desalination Plant at Waterport Road and the scoping opinion on the Sewage Treatment Plant destined for the Brewery Crusher Site.


    On the antennaes we continue to expect and press for the best standards and procedures to be followed when installing such equipment in Gibraltar while understanding the difficulty this may present. As advised at the DPC meeting yesterday during the discussion on the masts at Windmill Hill Road, we are seeking meetings with Gibtelecom to present to them directly our concerns and questions on this and on masts in other areas and will continue to follow this matter closely.


    Another query we presented was on how the open space next to the New Prison–  presently used by locals and visitors to the Upper Rock, the Retreat etc. is now to be used to house businesses being relocated from the North Mole because of other needs there. The ESG considers this open space to be an important entry point to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve –it is also a buffer between the existing light industrial farm and the reserve and obviously serves as necessary parking facility for those wanting to walk in the Upper Rock. We hope the decision makers will take our concerns shared by some others on the commission on board- indeed the Ministers confirmed this was temporary relocation and that the points raised by the ESG and others would be carefully considered.


    A positive agenda item was the scoping opinion for the planned Waste Water Treatment Plant, that’s a sewage plant to you and me. Long overdue and now undergoing the various stages of technical assessments. The ESG has been very happy to submit our recommendations as part of the DPC and is delighted to see that best practice in waste and energy management is being given very serious consideration.


    Another item on the agenda of interest to us was the extension of the existing containerised reverse osmosis plant at Waterport Desalination Plant on North Mole Road. The ESG asked that more details be made available to the DPC regarding the scale, impact and screening that has been undertaken on this facility given its industrial nature and proximity to residential areas. A commitment was given by the Minister for the Environment that this information would be made available. More plans presented for projects intending to improve the Upper Town sensitively, and sustainably, were also very positively received. Such urban regeneration can only improve quality of life for those dwelling in the upper town.


    And so it was, a remarkably brief DPC meeting, only three hours long this time!!


    While Gibraltar begins to prepare for the next election, the ESG is also putting its final touches on our own Wish List and will lobby parties standing for election on how we would like to see Gibraltar move forward to improve our environment. Watch this space. Thanks for listening –please get in touch with any queries, comments or concerns. Our email: esg@gibtelecom.net, phone is 200-48996 and website is esg-gib.net.


    ESG Radio Newsletter 150115

    ESG Newsletter Jan 2015 15th

     Key Words:  DPC, Town Planning Act, Public Consultation


    Good day to all. As we gather ourselves after the Christmas break various issues are useful to mention at the start of a brand New Year.

    Although these are prone to change you may like to note down the next two DPC meeting dates, especially if you are interested or concerned about any planning applications currently on the table. January’s date lands on the 28th which is a Wednesday and starts at 9.30am, with February’s date originally set for the 26th   now brought forward to the 18th of Feb, also a Wednesday and also starting at 9.30am. Naturally you can get details about the agendas a week beforehand on the Town Planning DPC website. What some may not realise is that also posted on this website are minutes of all meetings showing the voting outcomes and discussions held at every meeting on each application.


    This is progress and much work is done by the Planning Division, which is becoming better resourced, and hopefully deliver an ever improving service to the community it is there to serve.  For the past two years the ESG has remained concerned that Government projects, although presented at DPC for comment, thereby seeing unprecedented public scrutiny, we still do not have in place the commitment made by the present administration to see all Govt and Private applications come before the DPC for full planning permission.


    Naturally it is expected that a new Govt is elected in to bring about its manifestos pledges. They are under pressure. Nevertheless, we agreed with the present administration when they stated it was in Gibraltar’s interest for all plans to receive full scrutiny and permits, and yet, the projects are all rolling forward without these full checks in place. We are disappointed and frustrated with these delays.


    So we shall continue lobbying for this to happen and for other measures to be implemented at planning level to improve the way Gibraltar is developed. Another very important pending matter is the Town Planning Act, which is due to come before full public consultation, input and feedback. We do understand that these issues are complex and cannot happen overnight but this is a big issue for our community and we will continue to lobby for the Act to go through public consultation so we know we are nearer towards achieving a balanced, modern, and fairer planning system. One such example we would like to see tackled is for full disclosure of all plans, private or public available online to ensure that the public are given easier access to information which may transform their lives.


    There are many instances while we have sat on the DPC where individuals have been deeply aggrieved because they did not know about a plan until it was too late to do anything about it.


    We also do not believe that plans unpopular with the community need to have public campaigns/petitions/protests in order to stop these. What we shall work for is for a high quality development plan to be the only template followed – for Town Planning to become Gibraltar Planning as many developments occur outside the City Walls and need, in our view, to be holistically managed to protect both our quality of life and the natural environment.


    We do commend the present Govt for the projects it has already undertaken with the Commonwealth Park and other smaller parks in the town area, the beautification of major estates, and the many social projects currently underway. There are too many going on at the same time however, stretching resources and manpower and potentially slowing down badly needed facilities. We look forward to being able to meaningfully contribute to the new Town Act when this is finally possible to do- and we hope you do too!


    Please visit our website esg-gib.net for news on other current issues and email us at esg@gibtelecom.net if you would like to contact us.