A campsite in the province of Noord-Brabant which is permanently lived in by hundreds of people is to be closed down by the local council because conditions in the camp are ‘completely unacceptable’.
Local mayor Leny Poppe-de Looff told a news conference on Friday that the state had to intervene, because the Fort Oranje trailer park has been taken over by criminals. The 624 residents, including 123 children, are living in ‘miserable and inhumane’ conditions, the mayor said.
The situation at the camp, she told reporters, is untenable and a threat to public order. ‘The filth, the poor condition of the many of the caravans and the fire safety are extremely worrying and unacceptable,’ she said.
Last month, some 50 local government inspectors visited the trailer park and found evidence that its residents are involved in growing marijuana, human trafficking and prostitution. In an earlier visit in 2014, local health officials said the park resembled a slum rather than a campsite.
The campsite hit the headlines earlier when it became the subject of a reality soap show on SBS6 and questions were raised in parliament about why the local council continued to give people – including many migrant labourers – permits to live there.
Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher visited the park shortly before the March general election. He said the park appeared to have been over-run by criminals who should not have the upper hand.
Poppe-de Looff said that an action plan had been worked out together with local and national government officials, the police and the health service.
Some of the families would be resettled in ordinary residential areas while other people will be supervised. It will take a year to find everyone new homes and close the camp, she said.
Paul Depla, the mayor of nearby Breda, told the news conference there are similar situations at other trailer parks in the Netherlands.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation