Schiphol, State lock horns over damages bill
2 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the Dutch State are locked in a growing conflict over a damages claim amounting to EUR 100 million.
2 August 2004
AMSTERDAM — Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the Dutch State are locked in a growing conflict over a damages claim amounting to EUR 100 million.
It is the second recent incident in which the airport and the government have been at loggerheads, the first of which was centred on a project aimed at insulating homes around Schiphol from noise pollution.
Schiphol is refusing to pay any more for the project, which is budgeted at EUR 500 million. A report was leaked from the auditor's office this weekend indicating that Transport Ministry is responsible for an enormous budgetary breach.
And in the latest battle, Schiphol has summonsed the Dutch State after the government refused to take responsibility for a damages claim lodged by the company Chipshol, newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Monday.
The company had a building permit for the development of an industrial estate near Schiphol, but a building ban was imposed on the area on request by the Transport Ministry in 2003.
The ban forced Chipshol to halt its activities and the company has lodged a damages claim amounting to EUR 97 million.
What is at stake is the Groenenbergterrein, an area of about 30ha that Chipshol bought between 1988 and 1993 when it was still agricultural ground. The North Holland province has twice rejected a building proposal and the Council of State — which advises the government on its legislation — has twice overruled.
Chipshol then lodged a building application with the Haarlemmermeer Council in 2002 and Transport State Secretary Melanie Schultz urged the municipal council at the end of 2002 to impose a general construction ban around the airport.
The Transport Ministry claimed the building plans from Chipshol breached safety regulations that would come into force once the airport's new runway, the Polderbann, came into use in 2003.
When the ministry announced that it would pay any possible damages claims, the Haarlemmermeer municipality imposed the construction ban, but this was again overruled by the general municipal council.
On request from the Transport Ministry, Schiphol then lodged a construction ban request with the ministry and this eventually led to a halt in construction. The airport and the government are now arguing who should take responsibility for the final bill.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news