The GSD called the loss of the mature trees on Devil’s Tower Road, behind the site of the Old Lady William’s centre “regrettable.”
In a statement, it said that in Gibraltar’s ever-growing urban environment there are very few trees. While it noted that, it has been suggested that there is a requirement to re-plant the area with more trees, the reality is that mature trees are irreplaceable and this should have been considered more carefully in planning.
Trevor Hammond, GSD Environment spokesman said: “it is not the first time that this Government has destroyed mature trees in an urban area to suit its need, the same happened when Number 6 Convent place was refurbished at huge cost and the pepper trees opposite St Mary’s school were destroyed.”
“Large tracts of greenery, habitat of the Barbary Partridge and many other species, and resting spot for migrating birds were torn up earlier this year to fit in the Lathbury Sports complex. This Government needs to start practicing what it preaches because its environmental record is very average indeed”, he added.
Mr Hammond also said that the 2011 GSLP Manifesto makes entertaining reading as usual. As it states the party was committed to a full tree planting programme…especially in new developments, that the development plan would be reviewed with the public consulted and that the opportunity would be taken to include greater provision of green areas.
“In the ensuing eight years, as we look around our community, none of this has come to pass and even the open area at Europa Point has been consumed by the concrete jungle created by the GSLP Government,” said Mr Hammond.
“We will be monitoring the Devil’s Tower Road site very carefully to ensure the promised replacement trees are planted. We will also be keeping a close eye on other locations such as the trees at Westside School, to ensure that in its zeal to develop every square metre of Gibraltar, as one of the current Ministers once said, the ever growing concrete jungle does not overwhelm the last vestiges of greenery we have left,” he added.