Listed building registry opposes squatting ban

The public sector body in charge of the Netherlands’ listed building scheme is opposed to plans to ban squatting, the NRC reports on Thursday.

MPs are due to vote on legislation to ban squatting this evening.
‘This bill must not become law,’ Dirk Jan de Vries, a professor of architectural history at Leiden and Delft universities and member of the government’s cultural heritage institute told the paper.
‘It is very bad for old buildings if they are left empty. Squatting, or putting in temporary tenants to deter squatters, is always better,’ the NRC quoted him as saying.
A ban on squatting will threaten dozens if not 100s of projects, he said. Empty buildings attract break-ins and tramps as well as pigeons who cause a lot of damage. There is also a risk of fire, he added.
The legislation to ban squatting has been drawn up by the two Christian coalition parties CDA and ChristenUnie together with the opposition Liberal party VVD. Housing minister Eberhard van der Laan, a member of the Labour party which opposes the ban, has said he would abide by parliament’s decision.
Supporters of the ban say little is left of the ideology-based squatting movement of the 1970s and 80s which campaigned against property speculation and high rents.

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