Brexit, the gaming industry and more environmentally friendly transport methods formed part of the the focus behind plans filed with Town Planning for a 15-storey development at 5-9 Shackleton Road.
The application by Tylee Properties Ltd, which has yet to be discussed by the Development and Planning Commission, also seeks to demolish the existing single storey warehouse, situated between North Front cemetery and Devil’s Tower road.
The ground floor will have bicycle parking, car share parking, motorbike parking, disabled parking, lobby area with vending machine.
The first floor with house a resident’s only gym, laundrette and communal spaces. The second to fifteenth floors will have 11 studio apartments on each level, some with outside terraces.
Each studio will have en-suite bathrooms, small kitchenettes and inbuilt wardrobes.
In the design statement filed, the developer claims that international online gaming companies are employing over 3,200 people, a number they state is increasing annually. They also estimate that a further 1,000 jobs are directly impacted by the gaming industry.
Stating that the local real estate market has struggled to house these workers means that the prices of accommodation to either rent or buy has increase, due to supply and demand. It notes that the vast majority of gaming industry employees would not qualify for the Government’s affordable housing scheme and consequently they are living in nearby Spain.
In the design statement, the developer also refers to Brexit, stating that the implication for Gibraltar on the UK’s exit from the EU is “not as yet entirely clear.”
“Concerns exist particularly as to how the border to Spain will be affected and what this will mean for workers commuting into Gibraltar. It will therefore become more important than ever for the gaming industry to have its workers based in Gibraltar,” said the statement.
Focusing on the target demographic for the studio unit, the developer believes that the most will not own a car and as a result, the need to provide numerous car parking spaces is not necessary. Within the design statement, the developer lists three environmentally friendly transport methods.
The plan includes a dedicated indoor parking area for motorcycles, scooters and bicycles, with a view to potentially introducing a bicycle renting/sharing stand, akin to the Government’s Redibike scheme.
Two dedicated car parking spaces for a proposed car-sharing club, which may be able to cater for more than two cars if small cars such as the Smart car are used.
An off-street delivery bay, which could potentially also be used as a temporary parking area for taxis.