ICOMOS-UK has written to the Gibraltar Chief Minister, The Hon P R Caruana QC

February 20, 2006 at 6:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FORTRESS OF GIBRALTAR: VICTUALLING TANKS

 

ICOMOS-UK has written to the Gibraltar Chief Minister, The Hon P R Caruana QC,
to express concern that the demolition of 18th Victualling Tanks at Rosia Harbour has been sanctioned to make space for a block of flats, without  it appears adequate  justification having being made. There has been no Public Inquiry and no Environmental Impact Assessment to justify why this particular site is needed in the light of its impact on an important part of the early naval facilities in Gibraltar.

 

These very well preserved tanks are part of an area currently included in the UK Government’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites in the UK. The whole area is described as The Fortress of Gibraltar and was included in the list in 1999. The fortifications, of which the Victualling Yard is a part, are described as being ‘unique and without parallel’ and it is said that ‘the entire complex is unique’.

 

The Tentative List text states that the ‘sites listed are protected and improved legislation is currently in preparation’. Furthermore it states that as part of the development of the heritage product in Gibraltar, fresh schemes are underway to increase public access to the proposed site and we understand that studies have been undertaken to show the feasibility of making the very large tanks available to the public as an attraction.

 

Until two years ago ICOMOS-UK was informed that a World Heritage nomination was being progressed. Now we hear part of the site is being demolished.

 

ICOMOS-UK has asked for confirmation that the demolition work can be halted until a systematic appraisal has been carried out of the impact of the proposed development on this World Heritage Tentative List site, and the key issues debated openly at a Public Inquiry, in line with best practice for development work in areas that are recognised for their historic, architectural and archaeological importance.

 

20th February 2006

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