Municipalities in the Eindhoven region are concerned about possible delays in housing construction, following the court’s nitrogen ruling. “This is a big disappointment in times of housing shortage,” they said.
The highest administrative court, the Council of State, this week put a line through the so-called construction exemption. Essentially, construction projects not yet licensed must be reassessed for emissions of nitrogen dust, which harms nature. The construction industry expects the ruling to delay many building plans.
Both construction companies and governments are concerned. After all, the need is high: there is a housing shortage, and many people are urgently looking for affordable housing. “The ruling is a major setback for housing construction,” an Eindhoven City Council spokesman informed. “We have a big task in which there are already many challenges such as high construction costs and staff shortages. It is very annoying that all those housing seekers risk being left out in the cold even longer because of this ruling.”
‘We need to find answers’
Within Eindhoven’s borders the ambition is to build 3,000 new homes each year over the next four years. The city, without delays, is already struggling to meet that target. The mood at the Geldrop-Mierlo town hall is also somber, following the judge’s ruling. “This is a big setback in times of housing shortage. Therefore, we really need to start finding an adequate answer in the short term, so that we don’t get into delays,” explained Alderman for Housing Marc Jeucken. Geldrop-Mierlo wants to build 800 homes in the next four years. The ambition was precisely to accelerate this job because the need is so high.
The municipalities in Eindhoven and Geldrop-Mierlo cannot yet say what the exact impact will be. “We are waiting for the government’s plan of action and in the meantime are continuing to work on all building plans,” said the Eindhoven municipality. In Waalre, the municipality already expects that a construction project between the cores of Aalst and Waalre is likely to be delayed. This involves 150 homes.
In the Eindhoven region, there are two large Nature environs that are on the list to be protected with all the nitrogen rules. These are the Groote Heide near Leende and the Strabrechtse Heide near Geldrop and Heeze.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.