Noorden wants to build 220,000 extra homes in exchange for the Lelylijn and Lower Saxony line
That is the northern contribution to the Delta Plan for the North, which the central government wants to make together with the region. The 220,000 homes are in addition to the 100,000 homes already planned in the four provinces.
‘We are not overcharging The Hague’
‘We are a region that covers about a third of the Netherlands in terms of surface area,’ says Commissioner Fleur Gräper (D66). ‘We are not overcharging The Hague, but together we are asking for a justified investment. It is about developing the Northern Netherlands and thus the Netherlands as a whole. This makes it by definition an interesting investment for central government. ‘
‘Investment pays off’
The provinces have had the Berenschot consultancy calculate the effects of the requested investment. The outcome is that the requested 9.5 billion euros from The Hague can be converted into a gross regional product of 24 billion euros. In other words, according to the region, the investment is worthwhile and generates significant economic progress.
‘Then you have to think of new residents who are also going to consume in the region, parents who bring their children to childcare. All these economic effects have been included by Berenschot, resulting in a gross regional product of 24 billion euros. So the investment of just under 10 billion euros pays off. ‘
What is the Delta Plan for the North?
In December last year, a motion by CDA MP Mustafa Amhaouch was passed in the Lower House in which the Ministry of Infrastructure was instructed to develop a Delta Plan for the North together with the northern provinces.
The aim of the Delta Plan was to stimulate accessibility and living and working in the Northern Netherlands. The Ministry of Infrastructure should present the plan to the House no later than 1 May.
The provinces of Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe and Flevoland have now devised their own ‘building blocks for the Delta Plan’. These are the plans for large-scale housing in exchange for the construction of the Lely line, Lower Saxony line and tackling the existing railway line via Zwolle.
Solving the housing crisis
In exchange for the investment of 9.5 billion euros, these four provinces can make an important contribution to solving the housing crisis. The four provinces want to build 220,000 homes. For Groningen it means that it wants to sign for 50,000 extra homes in our province, on top of the existing plans for 35,000 homes in the Groningen – Assen region.
‘But if you really want to realize large-scale housing, these three major rail projects are really necessary,’ says Gräper. ‘If you really want to give the investment in the Lely line a real boost, you also have to invest in regional railways such as the Lower Saxony line.’
The provinces see that The Hague now looks at the region differently. ‘In discussions with the Ministry of Infrastructure, we indicated that we have major expansion plans for Eemshaven. The ministry now realizes that Eemshaven, a national port, is full and now also sees that more is happening here than many people think. They also see that we have come a long way in the field of the hydrogen economy. That is now starting to land. ‘
Hopeful of a billion dollar investment
With this changing view of the region, the provinces of Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe and Flevoland are hopeful about this investment of billions. Gräper observes that the Randstad region has less and less space at its disposal and wants to offer solutions here.
‘But the unique character of Groningen must be preserved. That is why we want to build in centers such as Hoogezand, Appingedam, Delfzijl, Winsum, Winschoten and of course the city of Groningen. In the coming period we will continue to talk to municipalities to follow up on this. ‘