MPs call for limits on distribution centre developments

Photo: DutchNews.n
A distribution centre on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Photo: DutchNews.n

A clear majority of Dutch MPs back calls for further restrictions on the development of new distribution centres in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Thursday.

In particular, they back CDA demands for an end to the construction of distribution centres outside existing business parks and industrial areas, the paper said.

‘At least 64 new distribution centres are planned up to the end of 2023, despite the fine words from ministers and provincial governments,’ ChristenUnie MP Pieter Grinwis said on Wednesday during a parliamentary debate on the issue.

‘We have to stop local authorities from buying up valuable agricultural land to meet our need to buy rubbish,’ he said.

MPs are urging the government to place similar restrictions on distribution centres as they have done for data centres. Last year, planning minister Hugo de Jonge introduced a nationwide ban on new data centres apart from in two specific locations.

The coalition agreement does include a commitment to reduce the development of distribution centres but actual policy has not yet been drawn up.

The Netherlands has some 9,000 distribution centres, covering 40 million square metres and many of the staff come from eastern Europe, mainly Poland and Romania, on short term contracts.

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