Brussels says ‘yes but’ to Hedwige polder flood plan

The European Commission has agreed to revised plans to flood part of a polder in Zeeland province to compensate for nature lost when the Westerschelde estuary is deepened.


However, the Commission says it wants more details on the project and a definitive answer from the Netherlands before the end of the month, website nu.nl reports.
The decision to flood the polder was first taken in 2005 as part of an agreement between the Netherlands and Belgium. But the new government did a u-turn on the plan, forcing junior farm minister Henk Bleker to look for an alternative.
Now Bleker is suggesting flooding one third of the polder – an area the size of around 150 football pitches, plus a couple of other pieces of land and a golf course.
Despite Brussels tentative backing, the measure may now flounder in the Dutch parliament. The PVV insists it will vote against, unless there is a referendum in Zeeland. The provincial Zeeland council has already said that will not happen.
And on Friday prime minister Mark Rutte said if the anti-immigration party does not change its position, the entire polder will have to be flooded anyway.