Amsterdam reels as Ijburg project is halted

24th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 November 2004AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam City Council has described the provisional ban on the second stage of the Ijburg housing project as a "disaster".

24 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam City Council has described the provisional ban on the second stage of the Ijburg housing project as a "disaster".

"This is an enormous blow for the district and huge setback for the plans to solve the housing shortage in Amsterdam," council spokesman Remco Asselbach said on Wednesday.

He was commenting after the Council of State ordered work to be suspended until a full environmental impact assessment is carried out.

The Council of State, or Raad van State in Dutch,  advises the government and parliament on legislation and governance and is the country’s highest administrative court.

The Ijburg project is the biggest and most controversial development in Amsterdam in recent years. It involves creating seven artificial islands on the Ijmeer freshwater lake, with each island assigned a slightly different look, environment and function.

A referendum called by people worried about the impact the work would have on the local environment failed to get sufficient support to halt the project in 1997.

The first phase has now been completed but foundations set up by opponents to the scheme convinced the Council of State to temporarily block stage 2 of the work. Two of the groups said they were delighted by the decision.

The Council of State ruled that work on 9,500 new houses in Ijburg had to stop until the environmental impact is investigated and Amsterdam draws up a new zoning plan.

[© Novum Nieuws 2004]

Subject: Dutch news, Ijburg project

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