The Amsterdam district of Bos and Lommer is famous for its poor housing, high unemployment levels and large ethnic minority population. So it was with great pomp and circumstance that the council unveiled its sparkly new shopping centre and housing complex last year.
The project would, the council said, bring back pride and jobs to the area. Alas for the council, it has all gone belly-up since then. The first cracks, literally, appeared in the underground car park. Concrete support beams were not thick enough to support the roof. The open-air market on the car park’s roof was closed and shops and flats evacuated while an investigation took place. Now the Telegraaf reports that the fifth floor of one of the blocks of flats is so unsafe it is in danger of collapsing. Why? No reinforced concrete between the floors – not the sort of incident you can dismiss as an oversight. Of course, this is not the first incident of building regulations being ignored. The Schiphol deportation centre, where 11 people died in a fire last year, also appears to have been built without regard for safety regulations. Fortis Vastgoed, Multi Vastgoed and Hillen & Roosen can count their lucky stars that the flaws in the Bos and Lommer project were spotted in time to prevent (another) major catastrophe.