NEW planning guidance will force private developers in Gibraltar to make sure their buildings care for the public good.
The new government policy paper will make sure all buildings are shorter than the current E1 tower on Devil’s Tower Road.
They will need to have shops, spas, restaurants, cafes and cultural venues at street level and a carbon neutral footprint.
Tall buildings will continue to be banned in the town centre.
The new policy paper takes in most of the points of the 2009 Gibraltar Development Plan over tall buildings.
It contains the latest rules for the new strip of tall buildings on Devil’s Tower Road, which will soon become Gibraltar’s new entry point when the tunnel is finished.
The Town Planner and government officials drew up the paper in meetings held last year.
The Development and Planning Commission (DPC) will then enforce these rules at forthcoming meetings.
“Building heights should taper down from E1 at the tallest point, to Laguna Estate at the lowest, with a variety in architectural design and in height within that restriction,” the government said in a statement.
It tells developers they must make sure their buildings’ top floors are designed so they don’t overshadow the streets below.
Accessibility will become more of a priority too.
“The Commission is guided to encourage the concept of a more scenic east-west pedestrian and cycling route to the north of Devil’s Tower Road,” the statement added.
The government reminded the public that it has even gone as far as cutting down the height of buildings like E1, Mid-Town and King’s Wharf in the past.
This cutting down of floors occurred even when the DPC had already approved the projects.
“I fully explained to the Gibraltar Parliament the reason for the delay in the production of a new Development Plan, which came about in 2019 when we commenced the tender process for a new plan,” Minister for Town Planning Samantha Sacramento said.
“That process had to be stopped because of the pandemic, and that delay in turn made the tender lapse.
“A new tender process recommenced last year.
“However, this does not mean that the existing plan has ceased to exist, it continues to operate and its guidelines, principles and rules continue to apply.”
She said the Opposition had chosen to politicise the setback in a ‘negative and destructive manner’, even though the current government has made the DPC process more transparent than ever before.
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