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The Stadium

On 24th May 2013, the Gibraltar Football Association became a full member of UEFA.

Together, the GFA and UEFA have identified the need for Gibraltar to develop a new national stadium that meets UEFA standards for international football – a European landmark that will also allow us to play our home matches in Gibraltar.

This website will guide you through a new stadium – as well as introduce you to the ambitious architectural design and answer any questions you may have about the exciting development at Europa Point.

Meet The Architect

Mark Fenwick is Senior Partner of Fenwick Iribarren Architects, a large architectural practice that is behind many distinguished international projects.

In recent years the office has become leaders in football stadium design, and is fast becoming one of the main international architectural practices with expertise in this field.

The new Espanyol FC stadium, winner of the Stadium Venue Award for Best Sports Venue 2010 and for Best Stadium in the First Division 2013 and also used as the centre for UEFA KISS conferences, was an international success in stadium design.

Other major projects include the new Valencia stadium for 75,000 spectators, as well as the new Albanian National stadium and the Norwegian National stadium.

Mark Fenwick is also Architect of the first stadium to be developed in Qatar for the World Cup 2022, the Education City stadium by Qatar Foundation, which includes a totally new temperature-cooling system for spectator comfort. Mark Fenwick is co-author of the recent UEFA publication “UEFA Guide for Quality Stadiums”, which is now issued in five languages, and has been a major success in Europe and World Football Federations.

Planning & Design

Overlooking the Strait, Europa Point is the southernmost tip of Gibraltar – a truly unique location seen by the thousands of ships that sail past every year. However, from a public space, recreation and destination point of view, the site’s potential has never been realised.

The Europa Point Stadium presents the perfect opportunity to create a magnificent, beautifully designed public space for everyone to enjoy – together with the chance to create a globally recognised symbol for Gibraltar, where emblematic architecture and location combine to create an enduring landmark.

The architect has taken great care to develop the Europa Point Stadium design in harmony with the nature of The Rock, ensuring that it is sensitive to the site itself. Naturally, the stadium will be at the very centre of the development and will act as the ‘fulcrum’ for the development and enhancement of the site, which will also include both business and leisure amenities, including conference and meeting spaces, restaurants, cafés and galleries, as well as sports and leisure facilities.

Although the Europa Point Stadium will primarily be home for Gibraltar’s beloved football, prompted by its recent membership of UEFA, the overall aim is to create a true destination for residents and visitors alike, to admire the spectacular views and to enjoy the facilities and amenities.

UEFA supports stadium plan

Read the full UEFA press release here

The Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) has released plans for a new national stadium at Europa Point, the southernmost point of the territory and an iconic location with views across to Africa.

The new ground – provisionally called the Europa Stadium – will be a Category 4 stadium, finally allowing UEFA's newest member to host European Qualifiers on the Rock instead of over 150 miles away in Portugal. Gibraltar's current main venue, the Victoria Stadium, is unsuitable for competitive international football since it does not meet the required Category 4 criteria.

UEFA is, of course, in the process of working with all its 54 member countries to upgrade stadium facilities throughout the continent, particularly in those smaller national associations where, with the new media centralisation arrangements as part of the European Qualifiers, some existing Category 2 and Category 3 stadiums no longer fit requirements. The Andorran Football Federation (FAF), for example, is in the process of constructing a new national stadium with greater capacity and with upgraded facilities, which will enable it to stage matches in the European Qualifiers and beyond.

Gibraltar is building for the future and with the long term in mind. The Category 4 Europa Stadium will ensure that Gibraltar meets stadium requirements for generations to come. UEFA fully supports the GFA in this exciting endeavour and has already sent technical experts to Gibraltar on several occasions to assist in a wide range of decisions – from the site location, to technical help on the design and financial backing via the HatTrick programme. The location in particular was selected because of its iconic situation and because it is currently the only site in Gibraltar with the space and accessibility for a project of this nature.

The architect behind the project is Mark Fenwick, one of Europe's top stadium designers and co-author of the UEFA Guide to Quality Stadiums, which has now been published in five different languages and is the seminal guide to the design and construction of football arenas. The GFA expects the new ground to be ready in the autumn of 2016.

UEFA wishes the GFA and Gibraltar every success in this enterprise and will continue to provide constant help and support. Our 54th member will soon have a stunning new home!

FAQs

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    1.
    Q: Why do we need a new stadium, when one already exists?
    Victoria Stadium is not a Category 4 stadium, which means it fails to meet UEFA minimum standards for international football. It has both limited amenities and capacity, with little prospect of expansion. Victoria Stadium is, at best, a Category 2 stadium, meaning that it would not be suitable to host an international qualifier for Gibraltar’s national team. Victoria Stadium is also a government-owned multi-sports facility which presents problems in terms of availability.+ See more
    2.
    Q: Why do we have to comply with UEFA standards and what are they?
    As members of UEFA, we are obligated to comply with the UEFA Stadium Infrastructure Regulations. There are a number of UEFA standards relating to capacity, facilities (including medical facilities) and the provision of services for fans and media. The new stadium will incorporate all of these.+ See more
    3.
    Q: Why can’t we upgrade the existing Victoria Stadium?
    The current site is too limited and restricted in both size and capacity, because of its location (proximity to the airport, roads and residential areas). As such, there is little prospect of expansion.
    4.
    Q: What will happen if we don’t comply with UEFA’s standards for stadiums?
    Our fans will be unable to watch their own national team play in Gibraltar.
    5.
    Q: Why have the GFA and UEFA selected Europa Point as a location for the new stadium?
    The location is a magnificent European landmark. The site overlooks the Strait and acts as a ‘bridge’ between the continents of Europe and Africa, giving it unique symbolic value. Europa Point is large enough to accommodate the quality of stadium required by UEFA and FIFA, allowing Gibraltarians to both enjoy the facility in comfort and feel proud of their national stadium. Europa Point is an underdeveloped heritage site and provides an opportunity to fuse the worlds of sport, culture and heritage in one truly distinctive site.+ See more
    6.
    Q: Why is it important for Gibraltar to have a new stadium, apart from the UEFA standards?
    The stadium will be a ‘signature’ building for Gibraltar. Gibraltarian football fans deserve a venue where they can watch their national team play – and a building they can be proud of. Gibraltar is a footballing nation and the people deserve a ‘football cathedral’. The stadium is also designed to be used every day of the year for a wide variety of activities. The venue will become a 21st Century centre for a range of leisure and world-class cultural events.+ See more
    7.
    Q: What is ‘soft power’ and how is it being used to judge a nation’s status, standing and reputation in the world?
    ‘Soft power’ is a country’s ability to project itself internationally. The Europa Point Stadium will represent Gibraltarian ‘soft power’ because of its location (at the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic), its quality (it will be a ‘signature’ building for the country) its symbolism (it will be the symbol of Gibraltarian success in the sporting and cultural world) and its imagery (it will reflect Gibraltarian iconography – the design emulates the shape of the Rock and the symbol of the castle and key).+ See more
    8.
    Q: Why was Europa Point chosen as the location? Were any alternatives considered?
    Europa Point was chosen for the reasons described above. Although Gibraltar has physical limitations, alternatives were considered but were not deemed feasible for a Stadium and associated amenities.
    9.
    Q: How will the Europa Point Stadium be used?
    It will be used primarily for football but will also be a community facility. The people of Gibraltar as a whole (not just football fans) will be able to enjoy it and be proud of it. The stadium is specifically designed to host community events, including music concerts, conferences, private functions and a range of other activities.+ See more
    10.
    Q: Can anyone use it?
    Yes. Everyone will be able to enjoy the facilities on offer.
    11.
    Q: Who will determine the kind of events to be
    held there?
    As the owner of the facility, the Gibraltar Football Association will manage the site. However, the GFA are conscious that this is more than just a football venue and, as such, it will welcome all sorts of private and public events.+ See more
    12.
    Q: What is the overall master plan for the area as a whole?
    Although the GFA do not control the wider area, they are actively involved in the new stadium design, assisting in recommending compatibility of surrounding usage.
    13.
    Q: Will the price of going to football matches increase?
    The GFA will ensure that ticket prices for national team games are kept at realistic and affordable levels.
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    1.
    Q: How much will the new stadium cost?
    The overall aim is to keep the budget to the lower end of the average cost per seat for this type of stadium (£2,300 to £5,000 per seat, excluding costs for ancillary facilities or works outside the site boundary). We endeavor to keep costs as low as possible, while striving for the highest possible standards.+ See more
    2.
    Q: How does the cost compare with refurbishing the existing stadium?
    The cost for refurbishing the Victoria Stadium has not been considered, as the option to upgrade the facility to a Category 4 stadium is not deemed feasible.
    3.
    Q: How does the cost of Europa Point stadium compare with that of UEFA national stadiums elsewhere?
    See answer to question 1 above.
    4.
    Q: Who is paying for the design and build costs?
    The GFA has obtained the funding for the project.
    5.
    Q: Who will pay to maintain it and run it in the long run?
    The GFA and/or a specialist operator will run and maintain the new stadium.
    6.
    Q: Will it make a profit or will it be a financial ‘drain’ for the Gibraltar taxpayers?
    The focus is to make the project financially sustainable. It is intended to become a community facility, tourist destination and event venue.
    7.
    Q: How will it make money in the future?
    The GFA business plan is being developed and market research is being conducted, this is set to include alternative uses other than football.
    8.
    Q: Most stadiums have sponsors. Will this be the case for Europa Point?
    There are guidelines laid down by UEFA that determine rules on sponsors. These will be strictly adhered to by the GFA.
    9.
    Q: How has future revenue been calculated and who has completed the business plan?
    Deloitte is currently developing the GFA business plan, and market research is also being conducted. Apart from revenue from football tickets and VIP boxes, there will also be income from non-football events such as concerts, conferences and rental of commercial and retail spaces.+ See more
    10.
    Q: Who will own the stadium?
    The GFA will own the stadium.
    11.
    Q: Will the stadium tenants pay the Government for the land?
    Any commercial or retail tenants will pay rent to the GFA as landlords.
    12.
    Q: Will the price of going to football matches increase?
    The GFA will ensure that ticket prices for national games are kept at realistic and affordable levels.
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    Q: Who is the architect and how was he/she selected for Europa Point?
    The firm selected is Fenwick Iribarren Architects, and the Europa Stadium project is headed up by Senior Partner Mark Fenwick. Mark studied at Kingston University, England, and is a recognised expert in football stadium design.+ See more
    2.
    Q: Who appointed the architect?
    The architect was appointed by the GFA.
    3.
    Q: How was he appointed? What has he been appointed to do?
    Following a series of discussions with the GFA, as well as considering the recommendations of architects from the UEFA for a professional able to design UEFA Category Football Stadiums in Europe, Fenwick Iribarren Architects were appointed in accordance with the Royal Institute of British Architects’ forms of appointments to carry out all services of a professional architect.+ See more
    4.
    Q: What experience does the Architect have? Which stadiums has he designed and built in the past?
    Fenwick Iribarren Architects are one of the few Sports Stadium Architects of renown in Europe. They built the Espanyol Stadium in Barcelona, awarded Best Stadium in the World in 2009, and also the new Valencia Stadium. They are involved in the first temperature-cooled World Cup Stadium for 2022 in Qatar, and also have projects for the national stadiums of Norway, Albania, and Hungary.+ See more
    5.
    Q: Is the Architect approved by UEFA?
    Architects are not approved by UEFA, but there are architects whose work is approved by UEFA, and which sometimes becomes guidelines for UEFA criteria. The Espanyol Stadium by Mark Fenwick was used as a basis for study as optimum for UEFA criteria and was recently home to a seminar involving all 53 UEFA Federations. Mark Fenwick and UEFA have co-written an extremely successful book entitled "UEFA Guide to Quality Stadiums". This unique book sets out guidelines for any federation to follow as to how to develop a football stadium from start to finish – now a fundamental publication for any football federation in Europe and the rest of the world.+ See more
    6.
    Q: How will the architect be supported locally?
    Fenwick Iribarren Architects feel very strongly that all designs need to have a strong local presence and, in so doing, have linked up with local professional teams.
    7.
    Q: Does the Architect know Gibraltar well?
    Mark Fenwick has known Gibraltar and the Bay of Gibraltar since 1963, when he was eight years old. He has enjoyed very close contact with Gibraltar ever since, visiting many close friends on numerous occasions. Mark knows the Rock well; the people and their history, and feels very close to the project.+ See more
    8.
    Q: Why was this architect chosen? Does he have specific skills or knowledge?
    Fenwick Iribarren Architects were chosen due to their international experience in designing successful football stadiums. Mark Fenwick, the architect heading up the project, is recognised by the UEFA as an expert, and the firm’s designs are at the forefront of research and development in football stadiums and quality spectator experience.+ See more
    9.
    Q: What is the Architect’s overall philosophy for the design of the stadium?
    Stadiums are the modern cathedrals of modern cities and large and emotive buildings. The Europa Point Stadium, with its unique location and spectacular view, is intended to be the very latest and most state-of-the-art ‘football cathedral’ in the world.+ See more
    10.
    Q: What are the influences that have led to the design concept?
    The main influence that has led to this design is the very strong feeling for the location and the context of the site where the stadium will be located. The Europa Point site is one of the most magnificent locations for a stadium in Europe, and this needs to be carefully and sensitively developed.+ See more
    11.
    Q: Who chose the design? Why was this approach chosen?
    The design was chosen by the GFA, but it has since developed in a team manner with ideas and concepts being taken on board by the design team. The design approach is to develop a stadium ideally suited to the site – and to Gibraltar.+ See more
    12.
    Q: Why will the Europa Point Stadium be unique to Gibraltar?
    The Europa Point stadium will be unique to Gibraltar for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is one of the largest buildings to ever be built in Gibraltar, and the sheer scale is carefully treated within the design. It is also destined to become an iconic piece of architecture and a symbolic addition to the Rock.+ See more
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    Q: What is the crowd capacity?
    The total capacity of the Europa Point Stadium will be 8,000 spectators.
    2.
    Q: How long will it take to build?
    A minimum of 18 months.
    3.
    Q: What facilities will there be?
    The stadium will have all the required facilities for UEFA and FIFA matches, as well as have facilities for the home of the GFA.
    4.
    Q: How will the public use the building?
    The Europa Point Stadium is to be used by the public on match days for watching football. The stadium is also being designed to be used every day of the year for a wide variety of events. This will depend on the final business plan, which will set out all the uses and functions the stadium can host. Events can be held, such as concerts or theatre. Companies can use the stadium for meetings, presentations and board meetings. Families can hold family events there such as weddings, baptisms, communions, birthdays and the like. The stadium will house restaurants and retail areas, as well as cultural and exhibition facilities.+ See more
    5.
    Q: What is the stadium made of? How will it be constructed?
    The stadium will primarily be made of concrete and steel. The façade will be comprised of vertical U-Glass elements, which give a fresh and translucent image to the exterior. The roof will be made of ‘steel sandwich’ panels. And it will be stunningly illuminated by night to provide Gibraltar with a distinctive beacon – making it a landmark for the gateway to the Mediterranean.+ See more
    6.
    Q: What will be the impact on Europa Point during the construction period?
    A stadium is a very large building and there will obviously be disruption as a result of the constant arrival and departure of trucks and materials during daylight hours. However, the site is large enough to manage well and the intention is to minimise impact on the public.+ See more
    7.
    Q: Who will build the new stadium?
    The contract for building the stadium has not been awarded, and no final decision on the contractor selection has been made.
    8.
    Q: Is the GFA in discussions with any contractor? If so what is their experience and why were they chosen?
    Bovis Lend Lease, having assisted at the feasibility stage prior to the GFA becoming a member of the UEFA, is engaged on the pre-construction planning stage. They have been selected as they have played a part in the construction of over 70 stadiums, sporting arenas and sports facilities around the world and, additionally, have experience of operating in Gibraltar.+ See more
    9.
    Q: Will the stadium obstruct the views across to Africa? Will there be viewing platforms for everyone to use?
    The stadium will obviously obstruct some views, as any building on the site would do. However, the intention is to provide areas where views across to Africa can be made a spectator experience. The Roof Walk and the Wall Walk will create special viewing points where the public can experience the spectacular view over the Strait of Gibraltar.+ See more
    10.
    Q: Has the design taken into account the hostile weather conditions at Europa Point?
    The stadium has been designed to support all the extreme weather conditions of Europa Point; which means that the wind, the sea and the sun have all been considered and resolved within the design. Earthquake criteria are also considered and will allow the stadium to support the worst climactic conditions possible.+ See more
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    Q: How will the stadium impact on the environment?
    The design team is very conscious that proposing a significant development such as a stadium is likely to result in potential environmental effects. Consequently, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is being undertaken for the scheme. At this stage, the scoping study is being embarked upon to determine what the EIA needs to cover. As part of this, a number of statutory consultees have been brought on board to help identify the key areas of assessment.+ See more
    2.
    Q: Has there been an environmental impact study? What are the outcomes?
    An environmental scoping study has been completed which has highlighted the significant issues that require further investigation. All these issues and the mitigating measures will be handled by the full EIA that will form part of the planning application.+ See more
    3.
    Q: How does the design take into account environmental issues, such as bird migration etc.?
    The stadium’s proposed location at Europa Point means that aspects such as effects on bird migration need to be carefully considered as the design develops. The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) has already been initially consulted and, as the design progresses, the team is keen that any potential for adverse environmental effects is ‘designed out’ of the scheme rather than subsequent mitigation bolted on.+ See more
    4.
    Q: Will the building be made from sustainable materials?
    Due to the extreme weather conditions often experienced at Europa Point, one of the first priorities for the design team is to specify materials that are durable and will minimise the need for replacement. The design team is committed to maximising, where feasible, the use of materials that also have the following sustainable properties:
    • Low embodied energy that requires little processing.
    • High recycled content including steel, glass and certain cladding and flooring products.
    • Reused materials including reclaimed materials.
    • Can be reused, recycled, refilled, recharged or reconditioned.
    • Lightweight in order to reduce the volume of materials within the building superstructure and requiring less fuel during transport.
    • Accredited to a recognised environmental standard such as:
    o Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).
    o Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification.
    o EU energy ratings of white goods.
    o The Mobius Loop for products containing recycled materials
    + See more
    5.
    Q: With such a large part of Europa Point being occupied by the stadium, what is being done to give back open spaces to the people of Gibraltar and visitors?
    First, the new Europa Point playground, which provides a welcome attraction for both local residents and visitors, is to be retained in its entirety. The actual footprint of the stadium is limited to the size of the cricket pitch and shooting range combined. Although there is currently a sense of openness at Europa Point, the cricket pitch and shooting range are not readily accessible to the public. Therefore, the design team is keen to ensure that this sense of openness and the vista is not lost. As part of this, the intention is to create a roof level walkway on the Stadium structure itself. This will reclaim the area for visitors and residents alike as well as provide a new unique vista across to Africa. The long-term aspiration is to connect this to a walkway along the heritage walls, providing a new linear, publicly accessible open space that hugs the southern coastline.+ See more
    6.
    Q: What is being done to protect the heritage of Europa Point?
    Consultation with the statutory consultees has already begun with initial discussions with the Heritage Trust and the Gibraltar Museum. While the long-term aspiration is to enable a connected walkway with the heritage walls in the area, the initial planning application for the stadium will not incorporate this. As part of the EIA, not only will desktop studies be undertaken to review all existing documentation of archaeology and cultural heritage in the study area, but also appropriate site investigations will be carried out as required. Any adverse effects will either be addressed during the design development, or appropriate mitigation measures will be recommended. However, the intention is that the stadium is seen as an opportunity to develop a focal point for visitors with regard to the interpretation of the heritage around Europa Point; for example, through the provision of an interpretation space that could draw together information on the historic walls, the Nun’s Well, the Shrine to Our Lady of Europe, and Gorham’s Cave.+ See more
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    Q: What steps are being done to protect the flora and fauna?
    Consultation with the statutory consultees has already begun with initial discussions undertaken with the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS). The EIA will include a chapter addressing the ecological effects and due to the close proximity of the Southern Waters of Gibraltar, which is a designated Marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protected Area (SPA), a Habitats Regulation Appraisal Appropriate Assessment will also be undertaken to assess the potential effects on this Marine conservation area. Further to considering the potential for effects, mitigation measures during the construction phase will include best practice measures such as programming any works liable to cause bird disturbance outside of the breeding season. In addition, measures to improve the ecological value of the site will also be recommended and fed into by GONHS, including the specification of the landscape planting so that indigenous, robust species are prioritised.+ See more
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    Q: What will happen to the school?
    The school itself is not included in the stadium site. Part of the disused playground to the south may be incorporated for access.
    2.
    Q: What will happen to the well?
    The designers are investigating ways to preserve and utilise this heritage asset.
    3.
    Q: What will happen to the children’s play area and café?
    This will be retained and enhanced by the Europa Point Stadium facilities.
    4.
    Q: What will be the impact on the lighthouse?
    Even though the lighthouse falls outside the area of the new scheme, the visibility of the beacon will be affected by any new structure on the site of a certain height. The team is already in discussion with Trinity House for a new beacon to be incorporated into the design of the new stadium therefore guaranteeing continuity of this maritime navigational asset. It is envisaged that the lighthouse building will remain as a historic landmark of Europa Point.+ See more
    5.
    Q: Will the stadium obscure the mosque?
    The stadium is sufficiently distant from the mosque and will not obscure it from most viewpoints.
    6.
    Q: What will happen to the gun emplacement and the walls?
    The gun emplacement and the fortified walls are an important part of the project and, where possible and practical, will be protected and enhanced in the design of the stadium surrounds.
    7.
    Q: Will the Polish memorial need to be moved?
    No, we’re happy to say it will not need to be moved.
    8.
    Q: What will happen to the houses/accommodation?
    It is not envisaged that anything will happen to the inhabited homes.
    9.
    Q: Will there still be buses to and from Europa Point?
    Public transport to Europa Point will be vastly improved in order to allow people to use the area even more.
    10.
    Q: What will happen to the car park?
    The car park will be enlarged considerably in order to cope with the increase in visitors to the new stadium
    11.
    Q: What will happen to the cricket pitch, and rifle range and gun club?
    These will have to be relocated to a more modern and more suitable home.
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    Q: How will so many people be ‘managed’ before, during and after events?
    The Traffic Impact Assessment is considering the logistics involving people movement to and from the stadium. During events, the operators will carefully manage this. The management of people forms a critical aspect of the design, which is currently being developed.+ See more
    2.
    Q: What safety procedures will be in place? What happens in the event of an emergency?
    Safety and emergency services form an integral and critical element of the design throughout every step of the process.
    3.
    Q: How will people get to and from the stadium before and after an event?
    It is envisaged that there will be shuttle services to and from the events, thereby negating the need for excessive car movement. This forms part of the ongoing Traffic Impact Assessment.+ See more
    4.
    Q: How will you manage passionate but opposing football fans?
    There is a safety officer appointed by the GFA who will liaise with UEFA and respective authorities to ensure there are suitable controls in place. Among considerations is different routing to and from the stadium for both sets of supporters, where necessary.+ See more
    5.
    Q: Will this have an impact on the numbers of required Royal Gibraltar Police officers?
    This has not been discussed with the RGP, and will form part of the ongoing design development consultations with all concerned parties. In time-honoured tradition, the force will be fully prepared, able and equipped to deal with any eventuality.+ See more
    6.
    Q: What is the foreseen impact of large crowds travelling to and from Europa Point, via the Main Street shopping area?
    The intention is for shuttle services to transport spectators away from Main Street.
    7.
    Q: Will there need to be any amendments to the existing road system?
    As part of the scoping study being carried out, the findings of the Traffic Impact Assessment is being discussed with the relevant authorities in detail. The construction of any stadium in any city tends to have an impact on the road system. However, it is not envisaged that there will be any requirement for major amendments, although some localised improvements to the road infrastructure is envisaged.+ See more

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