Tuesday 29 November 2022

MPs call for limits to distribution centre developments

A new distribution centre in Amsterdam’s port area. Photo: DutchNews.nl

MPs are urging on local and provincial governments to prevent new distribution centres being built in ‘inappropriate places’ and a clear majority will vote in favour of a motion calling for change next week, it emerged during Tuesday’s parliamentary debate on the issue.

There are plans for at least 64 more giant distribution centres in the Netherlands and their arrival is having a major impact on the environment, MPs say.

Government planning advisors said in 2019 that measures needed to be taken to call a halt to the spread of the centres, which are often built on agricultural land.

Planning minister Hugo de Jonge is currently with talks with provinces about their distribution centre policies and those talks should include developing nationally agreed criteria, MPs say.

In the meantime, they argue, construction should be limited until the new strategy has been finalised.

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.

Last year, De Jonge introduced a nationwide ban on massive new data centres apart from in two specific locations.

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