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  • Villas before trees

    The ESG supports the position publicly stated by the GONHS against the building of luxury villas on the eastern slopes of the Rock.

    Having already expressed its disquiet to the authorities over yet more building in an area undergoing massive physical change with the Eastside project, the ESG is also concerned about safety aspects of this development which should now be fully and independently examined during the technical and engineering assessment stage.

    Nevertheless, this begs several questions:

    The British Government spent millions of pounds underpinning and stabilising the slopes. Will this now be undermined by the current proposal? Who will guarantee that no major slippage will result as a consequence of building on the slopes themselves?

    Government has stated its intentions of creating a new woodland and carbon sink on the slopes themselves. Wouldn’t it be extremely sad and backward for Gibraltar if instead of this we see yet more concrete being plastered over newly created green areas? Our economy also relies upon tourism and for this we need to protect special aspects of Gibraltar’s unique, geophysical character. The slopes undoubtedly represent one of these very characteristics as any walker up the Mediterranean steps, taking in the breathtaking views, can testify. Let’s not lose this too.

    The ESG urges Government to act with urgency on its recently restated policy in the Climate Change Report (page 8, no.5) to “plant thousands of trees at the eastside sand slopes to help reduce Gibraltar’s carbon footprint and provide Gibraltar with a new woodland”.. and move less hastily in signing up development opportunities.