Arnhem and Rotterdam referenda fail to attract enough voters


Local referenda on building developments in Arnhem and Rotterdam both failed to attract enough voters, and both projects will go ahead as planned

In Arnhem, just 24% of voters turned out to vote on plans to build up to 300 new homes in a part of the city known as the ‘wild back garden’. The 450 hectare site backs onto the Rhine and is largely overgrown, with some rundown buildings and a few house boats.

Of those voting, nearly 65% were in favour of the development, which will go ahead as planned. The vote had been organised by opponents.

In Rotterdam, turnout was just 17%, well below the 30% threshold which had been required. Of those who voted, 71% were against the city’s plans to demolish some 15,000 cheap homes and replace them with houses for the better off.

However, because the threshold was not reached, the referendum is considered void and the city can press ahead with the demolition.

‘It would have been better for democracy if more people had turned out,’ city alderman Ronald Schneider, who is pushing through the redevelopment, told Radio Rijnmond.

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