An extensive development to help make Gibraltar more appealing for superyachts has been granted outline planning permission.
Plans for the new destination marina, including superyacht berths and short-stay and rental apartments in Marina Bay at Ocean Village, were given the go-ahead yesterday (10 June) after a third round of debating by Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission (DPC).
The director of Ocean Village, Neil Crawford, said he was “delighted” at the news.
“It’s been a long road for us since December 2014, when the plans were submitted, and the project has generated a lot of interest in the form of overwhelming support, which outnumbered the occasional strong objection,” Mr Crawford added.
“This is a vote of confidence in the future of Gibraltar's economy and complements the Government of Gibraltar's measures to attract superyachts to the Rock.”
The plans for Marina Bay include 10 stern-to superyacht berths with secure access, a modern Pier Office to include executive crew lounges, pump-out facilities, significantly improved electricity supplies, as well as storage, workshop and laundry services.
The promenade will also be enhanced and 102 waterside apartments will be built with rooftop leisure facilities including pools and play areas.
Those involved in the superyacht industy in Gibraltar hope that the development will help the peninsula to shed its reputation as just a stop-off for cut-price fuel and make it a more viable destination for long-term berthing.
Mr Crawford said: “Our Marina sees superyachts on a regular basis, but usually just for short periods of time or for fuel stops. Only recently a superyacht fuelled in Gibraltar but then continued up the coast to Puerto Banus, where the owners spent €300,000 in one shop.
“Main Street retailers and other Gibraltar businesses will relish being on the receiving end of this kind of investment from the superyacht industry.”
Gibraltar is trying to follow in the footsteps of other marinas, such as Porto Montenegro which has now become a superyacht haven after a huge development project.
The developers will now have to conduct further research and provide traffic, environmental, and aeronautical reports, before the plans can progress further.