News - January 27, 2010

Plans for De Dreijen put on hold

A stop has been put to the development plan for university terrain De Dreijen in Wageningen. Wageningen's policy makers are unanimously against it. The Executive Board of Wageningen UR is 'disappointed'.

The curtains fell Monday evening on the plan when it reached the Council Committee for the City. The master plan featuring the contours for an entire housing estate on De Dreijen did not appear to have enough support. The presiding VVD alderman Mariƫtte Kroes concluded on this basis that there was no necessity to submit this plan to the council.
The master plan has therefore been temporarily shelved, conceded spokesperson Simon Vink, expressing disappointment on behalf of the Executive Board. 'We still consider it a good plan which could do justice to the area. It's a pity that it has reached this stage at the policy level. Besides, this would prolong uncertainty about the area and this is also regretful.' Vink stresses that the plan has not been completely censored. 'We will examine the matter in the coming weeks. The plan has been withdrawn until the elections are over. That would mean a big delay, in any case.'
That the proposal has failed to make the grade in its current state is not surprising. Right from the start, the master plan has been strongly criticized left, right and centre for failing to adhere to the guidelines set up by the council. In particular, building plans for part of the current small botanic garden has made many see red. Meddling with the garden is frowned upon by the council. Besides, the plan has allotted too little space to social housing and the estate is not climate neutral.
New concept
Johan Feenstra of the action group Ecowijk hopes that this will now make way for a completely new spatial concept for De Dreijen. 'The so-called campus model of the current plan does allow much room for our ideas to take shape. To have an eco-estate, you need to think about water and energy issues beforehand. This hasn't been done here.' Feenstra therefore advocates having another city development agency. 'One with a lot of experience in environmentally friendly and climate neutral construction. We will then get a very different plan.'