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21st March 2019, 19:22

Government's integrity questioned over tender process for Catalan Bay development

The government is inviting expressions of interest to develop a plot at the northern end of Catalan Bay. In response to GBC questions, it's confirmed it was approached by a prospective developer regarding the plot. However, it says it has not decided whether to award the plot to them, adding the expressions of interest process will determine the best deal for the taxpayer. 

For its part, Together Gibraltar has questioned the Government's integrity regarding the tender process and DPC procedures.

The Government's invitation for expressions of interest on the plot of land at Catalan Bay calls for a privately funded, low density residential development there. The plot measures 1450 square metres.

In a statement, Together Gibraltar leader Marlene Hassan Nahon said during the last fortnight, she and other members of her party had been approached by residents who told them a "good friend of a Government minister" had been asking whether people were interested in buying apartments at the Catalan Bay parking site, and saying he was "oversubscribed" with demands. The party says the community has every right to be assured that the tender process is not just a front for a fait accompli, and calls on the Government to provide this reassurance.

GBC spoke to a resident of the area, who wished to remain anonymous. They told us they believed there was a development happening since a couple of months ago, as they had been asked if they would be interested in buying an apartment.In response to GBC questions, the Government confirmed it was approached with the concept for a residential project by a Catalan Bay resident for a plot of land at the existing car park. It says this developer claimed to enjoy widespread support from other residents of the area.

The Government says it explained that it is not prepared to directly allocate the plot of land. It says an Expressions of Interest process will determine if there is a better concept and deal for the taxpayer from anyone else. It says it has made no decision to sell the plot of land in Catalan Bay to any particular developer or indeed to sell it at all. The Government says the invitation for expressions of interest is designed precisely to assist the decision-making process.

Interested parties have until the 3rd of May to submit their proposals.