Dr Garcia to perform the functions of Chief Minister

A Supplement to the Gibraltar Gazette, of yesterday’s date and signed by HE the Governor, formally authorises Dr Joseph Garcia to perform the functions of the Chief Minister until Monday the 8th January 2018. 
  Mr Fabian Picardo will be on paternity leave until then.   19-12-17 PANORAMAdailyGIBRALTAR Heritage Trust objected to glass building in which Picardo wants to house GBC
December 19, 2017  |  By PANORAMA reporter
The original proposal to the Department and Planning Commission for the GBC’s new luxury £7.5 million purpose-built premises at South Jumpers Bastion was filed in December 2015. 
At the time, the application by Building and Civil Engineering contractor Sharrock Shand Holdings was labelled as a restoration and conservation project of the existing bastion. The proposal would include the creation of a glass enclosed atrium and two new floors of office spaces. 
In February 2014 the applicant obtained Outline Planning Consent for the regeneration of the Bastion and to construct an office development over it.
This consisted of an internal steel framed walkway with glass balustrades, and a two storey modern extension above the existing structure. It also included an internal passenger lift in steel and glass, frameless glass balustrades along internal perimeter walkways. 
The open terraced area around the new extension at Rosia Road level was to be open to the public. This access will be controlled by two proposed gates on either side of Bastion with daytime access for the public across and around the Bastion. 
Consent was granted for the demolition of various structures including chimney stack and existing external walkways and columns. 
The Commission also asked the designer to incorporate more glass into the design to blend in more with the surrounding fortification walls.
The Commission required that the design be further developed in line with the above proposals and deferred the decision pending further submissions from the applicant.
Over three months later the revised proposal was approved by the commission with nine in favour, one against and one abstention.
In said meeting the Deputy Town Planner informed the commission that the applicant now proposed to retain the western part of a WWII bunker. Changes were also made to the proposal on the Rosia Road side as the applicant now proposed to move the columns into the building in order to remove clutter on the external part. A glass curtain wall system would also be introduced. 
On the north and west facades, the DTP said that glazed spandrels will be installed and external cladding changed from stone to metal. Disabled access to both the building and the walkway would be provided. 
The DTP said that the overall impact of the building had been reduced in the revised proposal and therefore recommended approval. 
Claire Montado from the Gibraltar Heritage Trust told the Commission that group has consistently objected to the extra two floors, but that they were in favour of the refurbishment of the Bastion. 
She acknowledged that the developer had gone to significant lengths to preserve the World War Two bunker and commended them for that. 
However, due to the height of the proposed extension, she said that the Heritage Trust needs to be consistent and object to the proposal.
* The building by Sharrock Shand was earmarked for offices, so it is now clear why the change to something else, but the Government will have to make a fresh application in order that office accommodation can be changed into the necessary facilities required by a broadcaster.
A deal is due to be struck whereby there will be £300,000 due annually in rental , with an option to purchase the building for £7.5 million – which, no doubt the Government would have to meet, as GBC’s existence is based on tax-payers handouts. 
The payments deal will be with a company called NHOW Limited, which nobody has heard of.
To throw light on this company, PANORAMA has been investigating and we have established that, guess what, Sharrock Shand are behind it!
The company was incorporated only a few months ago, presumably for the purpose, in fact in July. The shareholder is Sharrock Shand Holdings Limited of New Harbours, who hold the entire share capital of 2,000 ordinary shares of £1 each.
Directors are quantity surveyor Peter Jackson of Clifftop House and civil engineer Gavin Chistopher Sharrock of Marina Bay, who both were appointed directors on the day of incorporation back in July. The secretary is an accountant based in Tunbridge Wells, in Kent, UK.