“The Municipal Council of Leidschendam Vorburg, show courage and protect Fleetland!”

Application to Leidschendam-Vorburg Municipal Council to protect Fleetland. Source: Fleetland Citizens Initiative.

“Since it became clear that the municipality of Leidschendam-Vorburg wanted to sacrifice one of the last green spaces in the region for a holiday park, more than 17,000 local residents have asked why you would want to do so at this time. ‘Vlietland initiative, we have tried to explain this convincing reason. We have We asked the municipality and the county 93 questions about the zoning plan for Vlietland.The answers explain why Vlietland can’t be saved: It’s not nature, it’s not safe and postponing the zoning plan would lead to a huge damage claim, so we call on the Leidschendam-Vorburg council to be brave And protecting Fleetland as a rare nature reserve and a green lung in the region in order to improve the quality of life for the citizens.

Fleetland is nature

In response to questions, the municipality of Leidschendam-Vorburg stated no less than 5 times that Vlietland is not a nature:

● “It is not a nature reserve but an artificially constructed area intended for intense recreation.”
● “Vlietland-Noord is not a nature reserve but a scenic recreational area. The question is therefore irrelevant.”
● “Vlietland-Noord is not a nature reserve. Vlietland-Noord has been established and is intended for intensive (daytime) recreation.”
● “Because Vlietland is not a nature reserve, but a scenic recreation area.”
● “Vlietland is not a nature reserve. From the moment this area was created by lake excavation, Vlietland has been designated as an area of ​​intense recreation.”

This argument is used to justify the damage done to nature in Fleetland. But these arguments are outdated. Scientific insights into biodiversity and ecosystems show that all green has value. Also and perhaps not particularly protected nature. In addition, all nature is landscaped in the Netherlands. If we follow the logic of the municipality in this regard, absolutely nothing is worth protecting.

Fleetland is not unsafe

It is a hobby horse within Leidschendam-Voorburg: Vlietland is not safe. It is a place of “accidental entertainment”, “meeting place”, “drug abuse” visitors will feel insecure as a result. It is unclear what numbers these claims are based on and therefore whether they are true at all. But it is important that the municipality sacrifice this piece of green for the sake of a holiday park. Because Vlietland’s filling is precisely that which is sustainable because of that alleged crime. This would make the area safer. But the question is whether this is the case. In many cases, holiday parks do attract crime and there is ample evidence for this claim.

Postponing the plan will result in a claim for damages
We made a proposal to the municipal executive and the municipal council in Leidschendam-Vorburg: take a preparatory decision as council and postpone the adoption of the plan. Then create a new and better plan and involve citizens and local people. The municipal executive advises the municipal council not to take such a preparatory decision for fear of claiming damages from the operator and/or developer. It is again a weak – legally – substantiated position. This raises the question of whether the prosecution’s fear is justified. The council’s letter advising the council not to make a preparatory decision strikes fear-mongering and contains a series of soft assumptions and possibly unwelcome consequences for the municipality. With many half-hearted attitudes — it could lead to…, there could be…, maybe this…, maybe this… — often no legal material or case law is mentioned supporting these assumptions . Moreover, there has been a failure of an independent legal investigation into this matter. Which is why we call on the city council of Leidschendam-Vorburg to do this after all. Independently obtain sound and objective legal advice. And evaluate such a second opinion whether the fearful attitude of the board of directors is justified.

City Council hostage

In addition, it is surprising that the municipality enters into agreements of such content that it compels the council to adopt a zoning plan. Is the board here hijacked by its board of directors? What does this mean for the democratic process and the independent functioning of the municipal council? Is this probable allegation the reason why the municipality wants the commercial interest of the few to prevail over the general interest of the many? We have asked the Executive Board for clarification and call on the Board to do the same. Because whatever agreement you come to, the city council is by definition the highest body. No agreement can be written in such a way that the council has to sign it only at the cross. Also in the case of Vlietland, the Council is in no way obligated to determine the zoning plan in the manner preferred by the operator and developer.

reliable government
We have explicitly asked the municipality and the governorate to take an insight into the agreements between the governorate and the municipality on the one hand, and between the authorities and private parties such as the district operator and the project developer on the other hand. In order to be able to correctly substantiate our proposal for a preparatory decision from a legal point of view. The county then promptly provided us with the private law agreements between it and the operator and developer. However, the local council member indicated that they were not involved in this. What surprised us was that it then failed to report that private law agreements had already been concluded between the municipality, the operator and the developer. They did not come out of the summit until after several questions from the citizens’ initiative.

Stand before your citizens
As for the Citizens’ Initiative, Alderman Bremer indicated that she would discontinue the plan if there was an opportunity to do so. The question is, of course, why that isn’t actively researched or why our guidelines aren’t adopted. Of course there is a risk in that. But a good representative of the people will stand up for her citizens. and for residents of neighboring municipalities. Because surely the residents of Voorschoten, Leiden and Zoeterwoude can’t just sit back because a beloved nature reserve is being taken away from them by a municipality 10 kilometers away? Perhaps the judge will refuse you or charge you public money. But no one can say that you have not fulfilled your duty as an official and representative of the people.

Show courage and daring!

We therefore call on the Leidschendam-Vorburg Municipal Council to show courage: to protect the scarce parts of green space and nature that we still have here. The value this produces may not always be expressed in money, but it can be expressed in clean air, shelter for animals and insects, and relaxation for all who love visiting Vlietland. So dare you challenge your lecture by asking out loud when nature is actually nature and what is the real value of the scarce green space still in the crowded Randstad? The Vlietland citizens’ initiative calls on the council to fight for that scarce green space. Especially in this time of crisis. rather than selling the area to a very small group that could afford it. Then use the saw and turn it into investment objects. Our nature is priceless and belongs to all of us. There is no claim against that.”

Leave a Comment