‘An opportunity you have to seize’, ‘a gift for the city’ and ‘a beautiful asset’. Eindhoven politicians are happy with the purchase of Wielewaal Estate by the municipality. Parties were enthusiastic about the deal on Tuesday evening.
Earlier this month, the municipality and owner Marc Brouwers made the news public. The city is putting down €29,000,000 for the purchase of the former Philips family estate. In total, it is 142 hectares of greenery, with a large villa. With the purchase, the city council wants to make the estate publicly accessible within three years.
From opposition to coalition: the parties are enthusiastic about the plan. “If you get a chance like this, you have to seize it”, VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy) councillor, Lex Janssen, says. Coalition partners CDA (christian democrats) and PvdA (labour party) are also happy. “The city is growing and flourishing. But people also need peace and quiet to catch their breath in a busy city”, PvdA councillor, Jan Hopstaken, says.
GroenLinks (green left party) is also delighted. “This helps to capture a lot of CO2. That is good for our lungs and the climate. I can’t wait until the gates, which are currently closed, open for everyone”, councillor Bart Habraken says.
The same voices are heard from the opposition. “This is historic, to acquire such a crown jewel”, Tom Brouwers, of D66 (democrats), says. Rudy Reker of the LPF (list Pim Fortuyn): “This estate is part of the history of the city. You can be prepared to pay something for that. A lot has already been lost in Eindhoven. It’s a gift to our city”.
Besides the praise, there are also some comments. 50Plus and SP (socialist party), for instance, wondered whether the city should not dig deeper into its pockets. It is said that an agreement was made with the Philips family that the estate would not be open to the public until 2032. If not, a hefty fine could be imposed.
In addition, D66 and ChristenUnie (christian union) want to know how the municipality will ensure that De Wielewaal will remain truly green in the long term, and that no houses will be built here in the future. “I wish we could find the self-control to leave this area alone. That is what the city needs. A resting point in our 24-hour economy”, Christian Union leader, Henk Jager, explains.
D66 also wondered how De Wielewaal will become accessible to people with disabilities. Finally, there were questions about the use of the old Philips villa. A number of parties suggested turning it into a hotel, with meeting rooms. “And the management of the greenery, that will cost a lot of money. Hopefully the province and the state can also co-invest”, CDA councillor, Rob Gordon, wondered.
De Wielewaal will be on the political agenda again on Friday. The municipal council is then expected to give its final consent to the purchase.
Translated by: Bob