Gibraltar’s €300 Million Reclaimed Land Project Gets Green Light Despite Spanish Objections

A major land reclamation project which will see some 60,000 sqm of new land added to the colony has been given planning approval by the Gibraltar government.

The reclaimed land will provide approximately 100,000 sqm of residential and commercial buildings and will be called “Victoria Keys.”

The ambitious project will be the colony´s first land reclamation in nearly 40 years and see a major expansion of western side of the Rock including a new marina.
The developers envision Victoria Keys “as a much-needed leisure destination for the residents of Gibraltar – a place to relax and unwind. The district’s close proximity to the old town will strengthen the urban feel but offer a less intense environment. A new seawalk and maritime park will provide residents of the Keys a daily retreat from city life and a place to reconnect with the natural surroundings; a peaceful haven in an urban setting”.

The reclamation costs will be provided by the government who has earmarked nearly €50 million for the initial works and the remainder from a consortium of builders and investors totalling  €300 million.

The go-ahead has sparked a negative reaction with Spain who oppose any expansion of the colony into the sea – and therefore an extension of jurisdiction of Gibraltar which is not covered by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 which ceded the rock in perpetuity to the British Crown. 

The Spanish government have no power to stop the development nor appeal the project´s go ahead.

However as much of the materials for the construction are set to come from neighbouring Andalucia and the regional government has not voiced any objections – indeed around some 5,000 Spanish workers cross to the colony each day – a figure likely to increase with the project.