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22nd May 2016, 22:27

GONHS Expresses concerns over Lathbury Barracks Stadium

The Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society says it will oppose any development on the Lathbury Barracks site which threatens the boundaries and integrity of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve. This comes barely a week after the Gibraltar Football Association was admitted into FIFA. Lathbury Barracks is the proposed site for the new National Football Stadium after the previous incarnation at Europa Point was abandoned, a site which the GONHS did not object to.

The GONHS says it notes with concern that the GFA's plans to develop a football stadium at Lathbury would require the MOD to release some areas of land on Windmill Hill Flats.

According to the Society, Windmill Hill Flats, a site that is included under the EU Habitats Directive as a Special Area of Conservation, is an extremely important habitat that is part of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve. It says the site is the stronghold for the Barbary Partridge on the Rock, and any encroachment onto the site would threaten to seriously compromise the site's ecology.

The GONHS says any proposed development at the site would require a full Environmental Impact Assessment under Gibraltar planning law and an Appropriate Assessment under European Law. It says these would need to consider the full spectrum of the site's ecological assets, from plants and invertebrates to birds and foraging bats.