It is not yet a done deal that the Prehistorisch Dorp (prehistoric village) can expand significantly in the Eindhoven Genneper Parken. Parties in the city council still have too many questions and doubts before they can say yes definitively.
VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy) and PvdA (labour party) have decided that they will give the green light to Vonk, as the museum park will be called in a few years’ time. Coalition partners GroenLinks (green left party) and CDA (christian democrats) have yet to make a decision, as do opposition parties D66 (democrats), Ouderen Appel (elderly appeal) and SP (socialist party). The LPF (list Pim Fortuyn) and 50Plus are against the plans. There are mainly concerns about the damage to the greenery in the Genneper Parken and the possible parking nuisance.
Nature and parking
Together with the museum, the Mayor and Aldermen had previously adjusted the plans following objections from residents, environmental club Trefpunt Groen (green focal point) and political parties. They are therefore afraid that the flora and fauna in the area will receive a hefty blow. After all, the museum park will double in size, with catering facilities, and the number of visitors will increase from around 55,000 to more than 100,000 per year. According to Alderman Monique List and the museum management, the adjustments will limit the catering facilities and keep the nature intact. An assessment by an independent research agency also shows this, they say. But a majority of the city council is not reassured.
“Good adjustments have been made, but parking problems remain in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Certainly during peak hours”, CDA councillor, Niels Groot, says. “Vonk will be a great new facility in the city. On the other hand, can we build something new in such an area that we want to protect”, asked GroenLinks colleague Bart Habraken aloud. He therefore wants the 114 parking spaces that are now planned for the museum to disappear first. D66 and SP also have doubts. SP councillor Jannie Visscher: “We must be careful of our nature. Not enough care has been taken in that area”.
LPF and 50Plus do not seem to be going along with the decision anyway. “We have the feeling that the college is massaging us until we have to say yes”, Rudy Reker, of the LPF, says. 50Plus politician Bep van de Wiel: “We are concerned about the nature and parking problems. But we also have our doubts about the necessity and affordability of the expansion”.
The intention of the expansion is that the more recent history of (the region of) Eindhoven is also told. The city does not yet have such a place. In Prehistorisch Dorp, the story is told up to and including the Eighty Years’ War. In museum park Vonk the story goes further, up to the present time. It remains, as it is now, an interactive museum park.
In total, the expansion requires an investment of over €8.5 million. According to the museum, the financing for this has already been arranged. The money comes largely from the Brainport pot that is intended to strengthen the business climate in the region. Various funds are also contributing. The new museum park should open its doors at the end of 2024.
The municipal council will re-examine the matter before the end of the year.
Translated by: Bob