Science - October 6, 2005

Anti-demolition protests planned

Wageningen no longer has just the SSHW student accommodation office, but also the ASHW, Actiegroep Sociale Huisvesting Wageningen. This action group, consisting of tenants in the Rijnsteeg apartment complex and members of GroenLinks and SP political parties, is planning protests against the demolition of the apartment building.

According to the protestors, the planned demolition is anti-social. They believe there will be a shortage of rooms again when students from Larenstein School of Professional Education come to Wageningen in September 2006. They also think there are alternatives to demolition. According to a study done by the local branch of GroenLinks, the student flats could be converted into other kinds of apartments.

Director of SSHW Hans van Medenbach refers to the existence of alternatives as a ‘total non-argument’. The study concerns another sterflat, where the apartments are very different from those in the student complex. Van Medenbach understands the protest actions but sees no reason not to go ahead with the demolition. ‘The plans have been drawn up in consultation with SFO the tenants’ organisation. You always get pockets of resistance, which is fine. But it won’t make us change course.’ / JH

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