Labour MPs oppose plans to allow building in Dutch dunes

dunes with seaMPs from the ruling Labour party (PvdA) are set to oppose the cabinet’s plans to relax the building regulations in the fragile dune area, broadcaster Nos reports.

The cabinet agreed just before Christmas to scrap the ban on building on the coast and in the dunes because, according to infrastructure minister Melanie Schultz, this will benefit the economy.

However, Labour MPs are now poised to join the opposition parties and oppose the relaxation of the rules. ‘We should keep the Dutch dunes as they have been for hundreds of years,’ MP Lutz Jacobi told the broadcaster. ‘There are enough places to build as well as empty offices.’

In addition, the plan will hurt tourism, she said. ‘Germans and Belgians come here for our unspoilt coastline,’ she said.

Holiday homes

The government says it wants to develop an ‘economically strong coastal region’ with fewer rules. This means beach bars will be able to remain in place all year round and that it will be easier to build holiday homes in undeveloped parts of the fragile dune area.

The new rules will allow building unless it hinders the movement of sand in the dunes and beaches. In addition, local councils will be able to come up with their own regulations.

Little change

MPs from the ruling VVD support Schultz’ plans. They say local authorities will have the power to stop undesirable developments and there will be little actual change.

Schultz said in a reaction to the commotion on Friday afternoon it is not her intention to see the entire coast filled with holiday apartments.

The aim is to be ‘clever’ about the building that there already is and the plans that are being made, she said, pointing out that local councils will still have final say.

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