Tuesday 11 May 2021

Northern provinces call for new railway links in return for housing construction

Photo: Niels Pluto

The four northern provinces of Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe and Flevoland have said they have the space to build an additional 220,000 homes in the coming years, but only if the railway infrastructure is improved.

‘In order to make the necessary contribution to housing stocks and to realise economic growth potential, excellent national, international and regional accessibility is essential,’ the provinces say in a plan for the next government.

In particular the provinces are pushing for the development of the Lelylijn railway link between the central urban conurbation and the north. A second new railway link would connect Groningen to the German railway network via Enschede.

The railway improvements will cost some €9.5bn, the provinces say. ‘The advantages outweigh this considerably,’ they say. ‘If the economic potential of the north is fully utilized, the value of regional goods and services will grow by €24bn a year.

If the transport links are built, the province would be able to cope with 22,000 new homes, on top of the 100,000 which are already in the works. Some 80,000 of them would be in Flevoland, with the rest split between the other three provinces.

Earlier this year a consortium of developers, investors and local authorities said the Netherlands needs one million new homes in 10 years to cope with the shortage of housing.

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