It seems that a comprehensive overhaul of the former casino site in Gibraltar will soon be a reality, with The Reserve at last being given the go-ahead from the British Overseas Territory’s Development Planning Commission (DPC).
As reported by The Olive Press and other media sources, the new building looks likely to be the most environmentally friendly residential development Gibraltar has ever seen, in another signal of the territory’s continued attractiveness for innovative and high-profile property construction.
What else should prospective and current residents know?
There has been a certain urgency to resolve the future of the old casino site, given expectations that the current building will eventually collapse by itself unless action is taken before then. Such an event, in turn, would affect the Victorian water tanks underneath the derelict building, making the handling of the premises a major heritage concern.
Now that the DPC has accepted an application for a new luxury apartment complex to be built on the site, the old casino is set to be demolished by hand.
“I am running out of reasons to not approve this project”
Full planning permission was granted for the project at a DPC meeting on Tuesday 4th February, following a deferral in November. Recommendations made by the Commission have now mostly been incorporated into plans for the site.
The latest proposals include efforts to not only preserve the water tanks that continue to be used by AquaGib and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), but also work to make them accessible in the future. This means that if the current landlords released the water tanks, they could be swiftly put to a new use. In addition, the most recent design features extensive greenery, including vertical gardens and green roofs.
Environment minister John Cortes said in response to the new plans: “I am running out of reasons to not approve this project”. Although he joined eight other board members in approving the request for full planning permission for The Reserve – which will include 111 apartments and more than 150 car parking spaces – he did ask the developer to increase charging points in the car park to between 40% and 50%, while also future-proofing to ensure 100%.
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