The Waalre Municipality will sell Het Klooster (The Monastery) to investors for EUR1.2 million. A vast majority of the City Council approved this on Tuesday night.
With the decision, a file that has been a real headache has been closed. For 18 years there has been debated and fussed over Het Klooster‘s future. Various parties managed the complex, but it failed time and again. Failed sales in the past also caused unnecessary costs for the Municipality.
The Municipality agreed with the investors on Het Klooster‘s social function. They will keep the three associations, such as an elderly organisation and harmony, in the complex for ten years. Furthermore, there will be dozens of care apartments in the historic building.
The AWB or Aalst Waalre Belang (Aalst Waalre Interest), CDA (Christian Democrats), VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), ZW14 or Zelfstandig Waalre (Independent Waalre) 2014, and Groenlinks (Green Left Party) coalition group support the plan. They are happy that there is now certainty for the associations. The sale of Het Klooster could have yielded more, but, the parties attach particular importance to the social added value of the plan for the Waalre community.
The two opposition parties, D66 (Democrats), and PvdA (Labour Party) voted against the plan. They are afraid that there are too many financial risks to the deal with the investors. “There have been heavy reports on Het Klooster in the past. The advice was always to have a sale tested by an independent party. The Municipality Council has not done that”, D66-Councillor, Kees de Zeeuw, says.
The PvdA also believes an external investigation should be done first. Furthermore, the opposition political groups are concerned about the uncertainty for the associations. This is because after ten years they may have to vacate Het Klooster again. The D66 is also calling the selling price of EUR 1.2 million a bargain.
Councillor Uijlenhoet refuted the criticism. He says that there are enough financial guarantees in place, and that the Municipality’s in-house lawyer has carefully studied all the agreements. He also points out that the associations in Het Klooster are pleased with the sales deal. If they have to move afterwards, the Municipality will have alternative locations ready in time, he says.
Translated by: Bob
Edited by: Melinda