The Government shares the view of the Opposition that the arrival in Gibraltar of a brand hotel like the Hilton is a positive development because it clearly improves our hotel offering, our tourism sector and will be the third Hotel introduced to the market in the GSLP/Liberal time in Government.
Whilst the Government welcomes this significant investment at this challenging time in the local and global economy, it is nonetheless important to note that the application for planning permission to redevelop the site of the Caleta Hotel to include a Hilton Hotel is the subject of a private application for planning permission and is not a Government project. This is a proposal for a private development on private land.
The Opposition is therefore mistaken in its attempted criticism of the Government. In their eagerness to complain, they have even missed a central point. This is that the priority for purchase of apartments in the proposed development to be offered to residents of Catalan Bay has been put forward by the private developer and not by the Government, given that the Government has nothing to do with it!
It goes without saying, nonetheless, that all matters related to the design, height, massing and scale of the proposed development are entirely a matter for the Development and Planning Commission to determine, independently of the Government, under the law using its own rules and procedures in a manner which is now fully open and transparent to the public and to the press.
The public will nonetheless be left with the impression that the Opposition call for new hotels and investment one day, only to another day come out against a proposed major investment in a new hotel.