• Search
    Latest News
  • 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.