Fear of many wind nuisances around planned residential towers

Passing the 141 meter high Iron by bike is not fun at all due to the often stormy situation on the site. However, if the residential towers (150 and 180 meters) of the The Grace project on the Rijswijkseweg are built, this robust wind climate can be easily extended to the other side of the railway viaduct. Eindhoven University of Technology concludes in a report that the expected wind nuisances are ‘not acceptable’. Around the buildings is a large zone where the wind climate will be ‘moderate’, with peaks to ‘bad’ in two places. Advisor Peutz also warns, but still sees opportunities, though it never becomes ideal. At a late stage, the design was provided with rounded corners to reduce wind nuisance.

The wind issue is by no means all that is wrong with The Grace. There are also problems with shading in the Rivierenbuurt, lack of parking spaces, lack of green areas and expected noise nuisance from the railway in some of the new homes. The Space Council Committee will discuss the planning aspects on Thursday evening (June 23).

huge effort

Peter van Daalen de Jel from Beboersamrådet Leeghwaterkade, Fijnjekade (Bolf) and the surrounding area has major problems with the plan and the speed with which councilor Anne Mulder (VVD, urban development) now wants to get it through the council. “There has been no public consultation on this huge project with 1,400 homes. We have been informed, yes, that is something else. We do not want to be in front of it, because we also understand that The Hague needs housing. But here it is exceeded “Too many standards. The wind nuisance really worries us. You can often hardly stand around the iron. Soon there will be a ‘velostrada’ (high-quality fast cycling route, ed.) towards Binckhorst, which is not suitable for cycling.”

Objections to the municipality show that there are many more concerns. Residents of the Schipperskwartier are afraid of parking nuisances; residents of the houseboats at Bontekoekade fear eternal shadow; the city council of Laak Centraal warns that deviation from the standards will now be the new standard for the planned high-rise buildings on Waldorpstraat.

B and W implicitly acknowledge that The Grace actually cannot. But Mulder’s final conclusion, popularly said, is that the housing shortage breaks laws. He proposes to grant dispensation for both the wind nuisance and the shadow effect ‘in view of the overall added value of the overall development for the city and the housing need’. A theoretical solution has been devised for the lack of parking spaces (some spaces in the Laakhaven car park and reserved shared cars). And the green and other facilities, which were made mandatory by the council in a previous political showdown on the Central Innovation District (CID), will only be compensated later in the broader context of housing in Laakhavens. Here, too, Mulder is accommodating to the plan, for, he writes, ‘Grace is an important pillar of the housing program’.

The opposition in the city council is very critical, partly because Mulder will make decisions next week. “There are so many problems with this plan that the councilor can not expect decisions to be made on this next week,” said party representative Tim de Boer of HSP. Robert Barker, leader of the Party for the Animals, speaks honestly of a ‘bad plan’. “In fact, all the frameworks that were previously set around greenery and other facilities, wind nuisances and shadow influences are now abandoned. It puts unacceptable pressure on the quality of life. ” The coalition parties follow Mulder’s line and want in any case to make a decision (‘declaration of no protest’) on The Grace before the summer holidays.

Develops wound pain

Director Rick van Geffen from the developer involved, Including Urban Development, says he finds the criticism ‘painful’. “We have made very expensive adjustments to reduce wind nuisance. For example, the corners of the towers are rounded. It is a huge intervention that has an effect all the way down to the foundation. Measures are also being taken on the streets. The comparison with the Iron is therefore absolutely not valid. We have solved the wind nuisances. ”

The Grace, with rounded corners, seen from Trekvliet.

Van Geffen rejects complaints about the participation. “We have followed an extensive participation process up to and including the neighboring grill. De Bolf is with, but also Schipperskwartier. That neighborhood has often been negative in the news, but with The Grace, we ensure a positive development. These are not just two sustainable housing towers with thirty percent apartments in the social rental sector. Facilities such as a laundry, places for work and sports and a communal roof garden are added. It is unfair that this is now being pretended to be a bad plan. “

Included City Development is building The Grace for the Swedish investor Heimstaden, the design is made by the well-known Delft agency Mecanoo. The location, where a shiny office tower still stands, is located between Rijswijkseweg and Trekvliet, and in the municipality’s vision, it is part of CID’s larger project. In other CID projects, the height has been lowered in a number of cases due to interventions by the municipal council.

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