We Welcome Any Views You Have

Superyacht Berths & Apartments at the end of Marina Bay marina – we have all agreed to have an open debate.

You’ll have seen on here (and other debating forums) comments regarding the planning application for the extension to the Marina Bay marina (the application relating to the apartments and Superyachts berthing just beyond the Marina Bay marina). Basically there are two views, those who support it say:

Superyacht berthing will bring literally tens of millions of pounds and hundreds of jobs to the Gib economy. Whilst they will be of huge benefit to Gibraltar’s GDP, they are extremely expensive to construct (including the entire infrastructure such as power, water, sewage etc which alone costs many millions). Whilst most other Superyacht marinas are financed by either EU or Government grants (€30m EU subsidy in the case of La Linea marina), such funds are not available in this case, which is why real estate is the only alternative. The gains include very significantly increased berthing square metreage and help with the shortage of rental homes. Gib has always had to use the sea and whoever’s view is affected challenges this. 126 sounds a lot, but these are rental apartments so they are very modern but much smaller than normal apartments. All surrounded by trees every few metres, which will be lit with countless lights at night and be a great view, (better than Algeciras’s industrial area view). They say that unless we modernise our facilities, Superyachts will bypass our marina and head straight to La Linea.

There is also an opposing view. Those who oppose say that this development is in the wrong place. They think that the apartments are too high and they don’t understand why so many apartments are needed, it’s 126, which is too many. They have concerns regarding access to the short-term let apartments and what will be the parking provision for them. How will pedestrians be protected and continue to walk there? They state that Superyachts are one thing, but they raise the question as to whether the Superyacht berthing is just a way to build more apartments. In their view, these apartments will have a major effect upon the views of those living in Marina Bay. OV point out that the flats are 1/5 kilometre out, but that is just 200 metres when they are 3, 4 and 5 storeys high, which is too high. How do we know that Superyachts want to come to Gibraltar and what happens if they don’t? What happens if the apartments are not popular? Would they then ask to convert them into owner occupied apartments (which has happened to at least one similar scheme before) and how will that affect for example parking?).

To be fair both of the views above are reasonable and those who are “pro” and those who are “anti” have been discussing how the parties can best present the facts to the general public, have a fair and open debate. All the parties concerned know each other and get along well normally. But it is a bit like asking a Man Utd supporter and a Man City supporter to agree which is the best team…… you can imagine!!!!

On the “anti” side we appreciate that things got a little out of hand and we apologise, we like Ocean Village and the people there are good guys, they have done a lot for Gibraltar and invested their money and created many jobs, but we think this is one development too far, so apologies guys, we like you, sorry if we gave you a hard time, we apologise if it got personal, no offence meant Greg, Sam, Pat and Karl etc at OV and in the same vein Sam will buy Vic a drink.

So the question is how do we debate fairly? Here is Ocean Village’s and our idea which seems fair: Ocean Village have offered to provide and finance a jointly monitored website to host the debate. Now that the application has been re-submitted for the March DPC (we were concerned that their submission in December did not give us enough time to debate fairly and there were admin errors, so they have re-submitted for the avoidance of any issues) , the website will be populated with all their information and plans relating to the proposals and viewable by all. There will also be a forum for members of the public to participate and post their views, criticise or support, recommend (or demand!) changes and state they are “for” or “against” and details of who to write to at the Planning Department to oppose or support this application.

Now that the application has been re-submitted all the plans and information are available to view at www.superyachtsandshortstayapts.com. Then you can decide whether to support or oppose or just watch.

Ocean Village and we think this is a civilised way for friends to have different views.

Thanks all.

Written by both OV who support and those who oppose, acting together.

P.S. We have also agreed to have a meal together when the DPC have given their decision. We haven’t yet agreed who pays though.

Comments

  1. Paul

    Just what Gibraltar needs, this will be a fantastic enhancement to the infrastructure and put Gibraltar on the map as a Superyacht Destination -not just a pit stop.

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