The Gibraltar Government hit out at the GSD’s “barefaced hypocrisy” over the proposed Queensway developments, even as it set out its own concerns of the projects.
The proposed private sector projects in the area of Queensway Quay were discussed at a meeting of the Development and Planning Commission last week in order to determine the scope for a report on an Environmental Impact Assessment.
The applications were not formally discussed by the DPC because preparing the EIA first would aid the Commission in its subsequent deliberations.
The Commission – with the support and votes of the GSLP/Liberal ministers present – concluded that such assessments were needed.
These are not Government projects, No.6 Convent Place underscored in a statement restating that they are proposals for private sector development on private land.
“Developers cannot be stopped from coming forward with these ideas,” it said adding: “It is as if the Opposition do not have a clue about the procedure and the processes that exist.”
Nonetheless, the Government said it also has concerns about these proposals and flagged that some of these were aired in public by the Ministers present at the meeting in their capacity as Members of the Commission.
“The GSLP Liberals therefore deserve the credit for having rightly highlighted these views and Mr Hammond is now just trying to piggy back on our concerns,” the Government’s statement read.
“In other words, just because someone has come forward with an idea it does not mean that it will see the light of day.”
Additionally, the Government said it agrees that it is important to strike the right balance of development and construction at any given moment in time.
“This is why the Government has purposely held back the potential development of certain publicly owned plots of land even though in some cases Expressions of Interest have even been issued.”
The private sector cannot be controlled in the same way, it said.
“What the GSD Opposition cannot do, however, is to pretend that the existing rate of development has nothing to do with them.”
“Many of the plots under construction at the moment were the subject of permissions, consents and approvals which they gave to developers when they were in office.”
It added that a number of these were for luxury residential accommodation.
“It is only that the actual construction commenced after the Government changed in 2011.”
“It is relevant to note that the last time there was development in this basin, it was pushed through with the help of none other than Mr Azopardi himself, who is now the leader of the party complaining.”
“The GSD’s hypocrisy and Mr Azopardi’s political hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.”
“But people in Gibraltar are too clever to forget Mr Azopardi’s track record in Government and the things he did which he now pretends never happened.”
“The GSD may not like to be reminded of this but it is the truth. Indeed, the GSD seems to think it can tell lies about the GSLP Liberals without us replying with the truth about them.”
“That is not going to happen,” the Government said, adding that it will forever remind the public of the truth of what the GSD and Mr Azopardi “got up to” in Government.