April 20, 2006 at 11:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment



The South District Association has been aware all along that there is a need for “affordable” housing in Gibraltar and recognises the fact that such homes need to be built.  Notwithstanding this there are number of issues that need to be taken up with the Government relating to affordability, the method by which homes are allocated, the growing number of luxury developments, the lack of social housing for rent, the modernisation of laws governing the private rented housing sector and other matters.  The SDA recognises that these issues should form part of well thought out housing and urban development policies.  Sadly, as is all too apparent, a coherent and balanced housing and urban development strategy is lacking.  A fact that needs to be addressed urgently by a much wider constituency to ensure that pressure is put on the Government to force them to take action.


The Association’s dispute with the Government and OEM International Limited has not been about the need to construct “affordable” homes it has been about the location of these.  The SDA continues to oppose the construction of Nelson’s View.  The fact that the Rosia Water Tanks have now been almost entirely demolished does not mean that the problems for the developers and the Government have gone away.  Their most spectacular achievement to date has been to deny present and future generations of Gibraltarians part of their heritage. They have failed, even, to record the historical, architectural and archaeological importance of the Rosia Water Tanks so that some evidence of their existence survives this lamentable episode in Gibraltar’s history.  Monday’s Times Newspaper carried a report suggesting that some of the bricks that were used in the construction of these tanks could have been of Roman origins.  This is a fact that such a survey would have been able to record.


Perhaps the Chief Minister might act to reduce concerns being expressed about the future for other parts of this historical site, by immediately listing the Victualling Yard, Parson’s Lodge and the Rosia Mole.


The SDA notes with interest reports appearing in the media stating that “indications are that most of the applicants have shown a higher interest towards Nelson’s View development.”   (Gibraltar Chronicle Thursday 13th April 2006).  This may be due in large part to the fact that both Cumberland Terrace and Bay Views face the Dockyard that is reportedly known to have problems with containing airborne pollutants and to be the cause of much noise nuisance in the area.


It should be noted, once more, that the Association has never had and does not have any axe to grind with any potential purchaser of homes at Nelson’s View or any other development that is to be built within the South District.  The concerns expressed by the SDA and residents of the area have been about exposing the ‘secretive’ and one sided planning process, the fact that there has never been any meaningful consultation with residents of the South District, the way in which property rights are being completely ignored, the total disregard of health and safety concerns particularly in respect to the safe removal of asbestos from the site, the lack of co-operation from Government departments and so on.  These issues remain and need to be addressed in the short term, if the current Government wishes to restore its credibility with the electorate before the next elections.


South District Association


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