GSD raises questions following Development Plan tender

The GSD notes the announcement by the Government that at long last the successful tenderer has been identified for the Development Plan.

This is a document which should have been ready by 2019 – 10 years after the previous and still existing plan was published. All told this is now 15 years ago. All of this delay has materialised as Gibraltar has witness a relentless construction blitz and the complete transformation of areas such as Devil’s Tower Road which the GSD and NGOs have decried for having proceeded with very little to no planning.

It appears, however, that Gibraltar has to wait for another two years before the plan comes to final fruition. How many more horses will have bolted before the new plan comes to light? This track record is not a cause for celebration as the Minister for Planning would have us believe but an indictment on this Government.

Questions now also arise as to whether, given the inordinate delay, it makes more sense to await what comes from the negotiations related to the EU Treaty. Whether we have a free-flowing frontier both in terms of fluidity of people and goods and the significant socio-economic effect that all of that will bring in its wake – with or without a deal – will surely represent a central consideration for those devising the plan.

Damon Bossino MP, the GSD Shadow Minister for Planning said :

“Furthermore, the costs of the plan are not cheap and given that the tender has been given to an outside company, it is assumed that there will have to besubstantial input from a local perspective to fully understand and appreciate Gibraltar’s own political, social and cultural demands which someone from outside will be hard pressed to fully appreciate. All of this begs the legitimate question as to whether a Plan could have been better devised if lead and controlled locally and at, possibly, less expense.”