Safeguarding our cultural heritage is an important part of the legislation and planning process, and the physical assets or remains are a material consideration (i.e. something that matters) in determining planning applications.
Heritage is not a barrier to change. Safeguarding our cultural heritage does not mean preventing development or sustainable change. It means managing that change in order to retain and protect significant heritage places, sites or objects which are important to our community.
Heritage desk-based assessments, environmental impact assessments or heritage impact assessments may be required to inform planning decisions made by the Gibraltar Development and Planning Commission. (DPC).
Such assessment reports must meet the standards described in our guidance and may be rejected if they fail to do so.
Heritage assets include objects and antiquities, visible above ground features and below ground deposits, on land or underwater, whether designated under the Heritage and Antiquities Act 2018 or not.
It is expected that anyone undertaking such work will visit the site/area under study and will liaise with all relevant stakeholders.
In determining planning applications, the Development and Planning Commission will take account of:
- the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets and putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation;
- the positive contribution that conservation of heritage assets can make to sustainable communities including economic vitality; and
- the desirability of new development making a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness.
The Applicant should provide information with any planning application on the implications for cultural heritage assets (Heritage and Antiquities Act 2018, 29 (11)).
It is therefore important at the outset of any development project – in the early stages of project planning, due diligence and risk management – to include cultural heritage and to seek advice at the earliest opportunity.
The precise requirements for cultural heritage will be determined by the Ministry for Heritage as advised by the Government Archaeologist and other experts.