The superyacht facility at Marina Bay was given the green light last week.
The project was first submitted to the DPC ten months ago and gained approval at the August meeting subject to three items: the colour of the buildings, parking and the lease conditions of sale.
All these issues were discussed during the meeting with the aesthetics of the building receiving a lot of attention. The town planner put it to the commission that the chosen colours by the developer were too “bright” and suggested a more subtle colour pallet consisting of pastel colours.
The developer said there first preference would be the colour they submitted but would adhere to the wishes of the DPC.
On voting it became apparent that the vast majority were in agreement with the developer and preferred the brighter colour.
73-77 Catalan Bay
A project presented at the DPC meeting last February and which was ‘not approved as submitted’ returned to the commission last week.
Previously the developer was recommended by the DPC to reduce the height of the building by one storey and to reconsider the architectural design to keep it in line with the rest of the village.
Permission was not granted for the development and the applicant was told to return with the recommendation to reduce the height of the building by one floor and keep the design in line with the rest of the village. They were also asked to reconsider having projecting balconies, which went over the public footpath below.
An objector, who voiced his opinion at the meeting earlier this year, returned to the meeting to express it again. A resident of Catalan Bay for over two years the objector felt strongly that it was “a unique place that has a Gibraltar Genoa link and the Village Inn is an important part of the history.”
He also expressed concern once more about the Village Inn being demolished.
16 Europa Mews
The retrospective application for the construction of a building at 16 Europa caused some members of the DPC to become irate at the fact that some people are erecting buildings and seeking permission afterwards without repercussions.
“This is a prominent sensitive area and it has just gone up without permission, the fact that it [the application] may even be entertained now to my mind is totally objectionable,” said one member.
Another immediately added, “I agree entirely”.
“This [the building] was done illegally and if we all did this around Gibraltar it would be disastrous.”
“We should not allow it.”
The town planner Paul Origo explained to the commission the process needed to follow if a building has been erected without consent.
“It is a matter of fact that it is an illegal structure which has gone up without permission. However, if we were to go the route of legal action in court and appeals the judges would rule ‘have you exploited all possibility and would you have granted permission to the application had it been submitted’,” he said.
“We have been down that road many times regarding unauthorised works so the applicant has been given the opportunity to approach the commission with an application, if you feel that the application needs to be refused we will vote on that. But we need to exploit all the possibilities for an applicant to approach the authority to see if that development was permissible or not,” he added.
The law allows for retrospective applications to be made.
The commission members expressed their desire to see the applicant prosecuted for the erection of the building and debated on the application as if it was new and being looked at with “fresh eyes”.
It was recommended that the applicant remove the roof they have built and replace it with a flat roof and that more landscaping is carried out.
The decision has been deferred while the commission wait for the applicant to return with these recommendations been made.