The recently announced tender process for development of the North Gorge into an ‘Eco Housing Development’ is of concern to the Trust. We have today (3/9/14) issued the following release to the local press:
“The Gibraltar Heritage Trust would like to add its voice to concerns on this development of the North Gorge site. The concerns of GONHS in relation to the preservation of the biodiversity and natural environment of this site are supported by the Trust. In addition to the need to preserve and protect the natural heritage of this area, which is geologically unique, there are a number of heritage features within the site which are of significance.
Judge’s Cave, a Neolithic shelter, is protected under the Gibraltar Heritage Trust Act. We are also particularly concerned for the fate of the Victorian Cold Stores that supplied the Garrison. These stores, converted from a magazine, consist of large vaulted chambers which are stacked four stories below the ground. More research is required to ascertain the history of these stores and whether these are the first of their kind built for Britain or even the last relatively well preserved facility (perhaps) in the world. They were linked by tunnel to the Victualling Yard and are in a state of dilapidation, although many of the fixtures and fittings (cooling racks, machinery, doors, etc) are still intact.
There are also two brick ventilation shafts from the stores and two Anderson Shelters dating from WWII which are relatively well preserved.
This asset has been lying dormant for decades and is worthy of further study and survey of our built and natural environment to ensure that all factors have been considered and redlines drawn before the site is put out for development.”
A copy of the Government tender notice can be found here.
A copy of GONHS’ statement on the tender can be read here.