With the granting of an interview that was published yesterday on the front page of De Limburger, VDL Groep/VDL Nedcar (VDL) has broken the radio silence that they themselves requested and agreed upon. We infer from this that VDL wants to continue the talks they invited us to through publicity. We have no problem with that, because more openness is also the wish of our supporters!
We hereby make the following proposal to VDL, to be laid down in a covenant between VDL Groep/VDL Nedcar, the State, the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Echt-Susteren and the De Groene Sporenwolf foundation (DGS), in which the following matters are agreed:
- The proposed noise barrier N297, pedestrian bridge and information center.
- Robust nature compensation in the Landscape Park Swentibold between Nieuwstadt and VDL Nedcar along the entire N276.
- Widen the recreational routes around Nieuwstadt already projected by the municipality of Echt-Susteren (see appendix 1) and transform them into 30 meter wide golden-green nature and a safe footpath next to the sycamore trees along the Haverterweg between the Randerborgweg and the border with Germany (leave the sycamore trees in place!).
- Establish a Green Fund – to be set up as a foundation, under the joint management of the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Echt-Susteren, the Water Board and a representation with veto rights of the Village Council of Nieuwstadt, consisting of DGS and the Joint Neighbourhood Associations – which will manage the funds for the greening of the aforementioned areas within a period of five years. On the basis of an estimate and distribution key to be drawn up, this fund will be fed by contributions from the VDL Groep/VDL Nedcar and the authorities concerned, who must undertake to do so by means of a covenant to be agreed by all parties. The VDL Groep can of course agree an advance payment arrangement and distribution key with the governments involved.
- A designation on all agricultural parcels around Nieuwstadt that, in case of voluntary sale, this will first be offered to the Green Fund Foundation which may then transform it only into golden green nature and be provided with sufficient budgets for this purpose by the VDL Groep/VDL Nedcar and the governments involved.
- No felling but transplanting (with a tele-crane for example) as many trees as possible from the Sterrebos to the adjacent plots already earmarked for nature compensation.
In the first discussions, adjustment of the layout and size of Yard E was still open to discussion with father Wim and son Willem van der Leegte. For the sake of completeness we repeat the proposals discussed at the time, which offer advantages for VDL Nedcar, Nieuwstadt and the Province of Limburg. For Nieuwstadt because Yard E and the Beltway N276 will then be much less close to Nieuwstadt and because the GOK-yard can then be constructed as a single-layer building. For the Province because the Beltway will be shorter and therefore cheaper. For VDL Nedcar because of the following advantages:
- Parking personnel to Katsbek: now that VDL has purchased the Katsbek riding school, a green parking lot (open paved with grass) can be realized there instead of the currently planned parking lot on the north side of the yard E. This offers the personnel a short but healthy and refreshing walk to and from work through the replanted Sterrebos. Working and driving with a fresh nose and a cleared head reduces the risk of mistakes and accidents.
- Warehouse on wheels as much as possible to Industriepark Swentibold (Katoen Natie, Mitsubishi): VDL has already planned a Warehouse on Wheels (WoW) next to Katoen Natie. By relocating the WoW, which is now planned for Yard E, to the Swentibold Industrial Park, that part will also be immediately adjacent to the logistical access road at the planned flyover with the N297. Not only will the trucks then have to travel hundreds of meters less, but they will also no longer cross over with the movement of finished product cars from the final assembly to the GOK Yard, as is currently planned.
- Move GOK parking single layer and as far north as possible: The GOK Yard in yard E can then be built a lot north closer to the new Final Assembly, allowing the finished product cars from that hall to be driven a much shorter distance to the GOK yard. In addition, savings can be made by implementing it not as a two-story but as a one-story.
- With the addition of points 7 to 9, the proposal would look like this, were it not for the fact that VDL, unfortunately for all parties involved, withdrew these points after consultation with the Province:
Addendum 1: Projectmap of the Municipality of Echt-Susteren