Friday, July 29, 2005

DPC to inform Developer of the reasons for refusal

Funicular project

The company behind the controversial funicular project will soon hear formally from the Gibraltar Government as to the reasons why the scheme was refused outline planning permission at a meeting of the Development and Planning Commission earlier this year.

It has taken nearly three months to draft and approve the document detailing the criteria under which the DPC reached its decision last May 4.

Joe Holliday, Minister for Trade, Industry and Communications, said in a recent interview that it would be a “substantial reply” setting out clearly why the project was refused. He did not go into detail on the reasons except to say that they covered a range of issues including environmental, heritage and safety factors.

He added that the formal advice would most probably be sent to the developer, 21st Century Rock, by the end of this month.

The DPC’s decision to refuse outline planning permission last May came a day after anti-funicular campaigners handed Chief Minister Peter Caruana a petition signed by 7,350 people who opposed the scheme.

Once it receives the DPC’s reply, 21st Century Rock has several options open on how to proceed.

It can address the issues raised and re-submit the application. It can appeal the DPC’s decision. Or it can simply call it a day and withdraw the project.

In an interview with Chronicle last May 8, Leslie Ratcliffe, the driving force behind 21st Century Rock, left little doubt that he wished to push ahead with the scheme if possible.

“I believe the DPC made a very sensible decision in wanting further reassurances about the heritage and environment,” he said at the time.

“I believe the decision they made was the correct decision for the people of Gibraltar, taking all the factors into account.”

But he added:

“I’m waiting on the DPC to meet…to give me a structured reply as to how I might re-apply or appeal.”

11 May 2005 - Anti-Funicular Groups welcome DPC decision

Related Articles:

27 March 2005 - Gibraltar News Online Poll gives a resounding 'No' to proposed Funicular Project

05 May 2005 - Funicular Proposal fails at first stage

Funicular Project Photomontage


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