GONHS notes that HM Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG) presented its plans to construct a new car park at Grand Parade at the most recent meeting of the Development and Planning Commission. Our organisation has a number of concerns regarding this proposed development, which we outlined at this meeting and in a letter to the Minister for the Environment.
The increase in parking spaces shall inevitably lead to an overall increase in traffic and emissions in an already congested Gibraltar, with the consequent adverse effects to the environment. GOG should instead be looking to encourage the public to drive less and consider either walking or using the bus service, which is free.
Although GONHS accepts that the area is currently covered in tarmac, the proposal would place two storeys where there is currently an open area that is surrounded by gardens. This is the last remaining open area until Europa Flats to the south and Commonwealth Park to the north.
We can also expect considerable disruption and air pollution due to dust and increased emissions during the construction phase, as well as noise pollution, which will inevitably have an adverse impact on wildlife within the Alameda Gardens, such as the Spotted Flycatcher, which breeds nowhere else on the Rock.
GONHS urges the Government to consider a more imaginative and environmentally friendly approach, both to the area and traffic management in Gibraltar.