The Government regrets Together Gibraltar’s misguided comments over Mid Town Park. The relocation of the turf on the northern half of the project is not due to “incompetent management” but simply because this area was completed ahead of the remainder of the park back in 2019. Therefore, leaving this large area with no planting would lead to problems with weeds as well as dust from soil being whipped up by the wind.
It was considered better to plant an interim turf in the area which would then be utilised to beautify areas of Alameda Estate which had been identified. The lawn laid last year being re-used cost £6,312, the new, hardier lawn costs £9,064.
The comments by Together Gibraltar are also out of touch with reality as if they did not realise that COVID-19 lockdowns have caused disruption to the construction progress. As a result of lockdowns, the industry has taken a number of weeks to fully reactivate ultimately affecting supply chains.
The completion of Mid Town Park is directly linked to the seasonal tree and turf planting window. The trees and the turf were originally programmed to have been planted in March 2020 but unfortunately the COVID-19 lockdowns meant that this was not possible. Trees were sourced from France and the turf from the UK. The full lockdowns in these countries as well as in Gibraltar meant that it was not possible to have the trees or the turf delivered, nor allow the specialist teams to travel.
Minister for the Environment, Prof. Cortes said: “Although there has been a delay in the completion of the Mid Town Park, I am pleased to announce the site is due to be ready by mid-December. Progress is ongoing and just today over 40 trees for the site have arrived. I regret Together Gibraltar’s comments because once the Park is finished the community will be able to see and enjoy for themselves a new and accessible facility in the centre of Gibraltar”.