October 22, 2018
Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission gave unanimous approval in their September meeting to the construction of a 7-storey, 59-apartment residential building in the very heart of Gibraltar’s town centre – Engineer’s Lane.
Intended as a premium location project and designed by Arc Designs for developers, Lacey Homes (Gib) Ltd, the development will have the Rock of Gibraltar as its stunning backdrop, with balconies and terraces overlooking the town and its rooftop swimming pool providing panoramic views of the Bay of Gibraltar.
Situated in what is a historic area with features of importance to local heritage, and absorbing the requirement to minimise any negative impact on the area’s current residents, the development takes into account the sensitivities of its environmental context, opting for an elegant new-classic design but adding those essential modern touches. The apartments will be designed to incorporate the latest technology and energy saving measures. Most of the apartments will also benefit from attractive balconies and amenities will include a rooftop pool and terrace, and a fitness gym and studio.
The population of Gibraltar’s city centre continues to grow apace with Gibraltar’s strengthening economy and this fuels the need to increase the supply of modern, appealing residential properties. The need for car parking and its associated pollution, say the designers, will not be encouraged, and therefore only 3 parking spaces are to be provided to cater for electric cars, as well as a loading / unloading by. Instead, there will be ample provision for the storage of bicycles (1 cycle space is allocated to each apartment). It is hoped that this will discourage residents from driving through the city centre. The design statement adds: “The project aim is to absolutely minimise all possible pollution from vehicles.”
In a further move to encourage residents to enjoy a lifestyle with a lesser negative impact on the environment, the developers are also to include a resident’s laundry room to minimise on water consumption.
With space at a premium in the area for refuse storage and collection, the development will also replace the present refuse facility with new enclosed bin stores for use by the local community and general public. It is also anticipated that as many as 10 bins will be provided for general waste as well as 7 recycling bins.
The project will be situated on the site that was formerly the Risso Bakery, which was demolished some time ago. It is surrounded by iconic local landmarks and tourist attractions: Casemates Square, Moorish Castle, Main Street itself and the ICC Shopping Centre. Most community amenities, including health care facilities, parks and leisure facilities are within walking distance of the development. The design aims to revitalize a tired corner of the town centre, incorporating traditional design features into the building façade, contributing, it is hoped, to a wider restoration of this vintage part of town.