CONTROVERSY surrounds a huge floating hotel planned for Ocean Village.
Residents have slammed the scheme that would see a £150 million luxury yacht berthed in the marina.
They say the 142-metre Sunborn Yacht Hotel has bypassed Gibraltar’s planning process and could be dangerous for locals
Tradewinds’ resident Mr William Leay said, “It will have a huge detrimental visual impact on the whole area.”
Other critics claim that increased traffic could be dangerous for local school children.
The custom-designed Sunborn has seven decks with 166 cabins and 17 suites.
It boasts a ballroom, restaurant, sun terraces, pool and bar, as well as banqueting and conference facilities and a gym and spa.
“The environmental impact is much smaller than building from scratch,” insisted Environment Minister Dr John Cortes.
He added that the land reclamation needed for a car park would not prove ecologically damaging as the marina was already quite contaminated.
The vessel’s sewage output and water supply will be connected to the city’s main infrastructure.
Minister for Tourism Neil Costa added: “The Sunborn’s arrival will be a significant addition to Gibraltar, targeting the growing demand of a luxury hotel.
We believe it will become an icon and major attraction.”
Ocean Village marketing director Brian Stevendale also welcomed the scheme. “We are very excited and recognise this is a massive investment.
“Clearly a 5-star hotel and conference centre is a welcome development recognising the success of Gibraltar”.
The hotel is expected to create about 150 jobs and is due to open towards the end of 2013.