The design phase Sustainable Polder has started, residents can contribute ideas

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US/DEN BOSCH | As part of the Sustainable Polder, Oss and Den Bosch Municipality organize six resident meetings. During these meetings, they want to give the residents of the polder between the two cities influence on the location of wind turbines in the polder. Partly on the basis of this, the municipalities will design a number of variants for arranging the polder. Despite previous plans, Den Bosch has decided not to place solar fields in the polder and focus entirely on wind energy. “It is time to think with the residents,” said councilor Jacco Peter Hooiveld (VDG) from Oss municipality. you can you here Register for one of the meetings.

The councilors emphasize that the question of whether wind turbines should be built at all is not up for discussion, this decision has already been made. The question now is where these wind turbines should be located and what other developments may be desirable, for example in agriculture, recreation and nature. Hooiveld: “We have reached the stage where we have to look at how to design and arrange the sustainable polder. We would like to involve everyone in that, hence the residents’ meetings.” The last time residents of the polder were involved in the project was about 2 to 3 years ago. Councilor Mike van der Geld (D66) from Den Bosch municipality: “We want to draw the residents back in and share with them where we are now. Together with residents, stakeholders and promoters, we will outline where the turbines can be built.” On the basis of, among other things, the residents’ meetings and in collaboration with a design agency, the municipalities will then start designing a number of variants or scenarios. “A preferred variant must be chosen before the end of 2023,” says Hooiveld. It is intended that a building permit must be issued before 2025 and that the wind turbines must be completed before 2030.

Resident meetings
Residents can therefore come to the meetings with a wide range of concerns and ideas. Van der Geld explains how these meetings will work. “We start in plenary with an introduction to get people involved again and to provide the necessary information. Then we continue with booths where we talk to people and talk to them so we can include opportunities they see or concerns they have in the design.” For example, there are stands at the meetings for different themes such as recreation and nature. The meeting on 20 September in the town hall in Oss and on 27 September in Rosmalen is already full. There is still space for Oss municipality on 21 September in Geffen and 4 October in Lith. In Den Bosch, you can still visit Rosmalen on 29 September and 6 October. Councilors could not yet say whether further meetings would be held if these six were all filled.

Den Bosch still chooses wind turbines
Van der Geld emphasizes the need for the energy transition to greener energy. “Energy prices are rising, so we are busy. Den Bosch will be climate neutral in 2045. And in addition, in terms of energy, we must also become more independent from the east, where the tap is turned off.” In March this year, Van der Geld stated that Den Bosch wants to build both wind turbines and solar parks in the polder. However, the municipality has come back from that. Van der Geld: “Den Bosch is now also focusing primarily on wind energy, there will be no solar fields in the polder. The starting point for Den Bosch is to place 16 wind turbines in our part of the polder. The reason for this is that we don’t want to fill farmland with solar panels that need to remain available. In addition to that, we are still working with solar energy elsewhere, for example when installing solar panels at the Brabanthallen.” It is not yet clear how many wind turbines there will be in Oss municipality, because Oss municipality has set a certain amount of energy that must be produced. How many wind turbines are needed for this depends, among other things, on the location of the turbines and other factors.

To care
The municipalities are not afraid that the current limited capacity in the energy grid will cause problems for the project, it should no longer be a problem by then. Hooiveld: “The limitations of the power grid shouldn’t get in our way, but I don’t have a crystal ball.” Van der Geld adds: “In this regard, we are also dependent on Enexis and in particular TenneT (transmission system operator, ed.).” Regarding the concerns about the danger that wind turbines can pose to (meadow) birds, Van der Geld says: “We take meadow birds into account to ensure that we do not cause too much damage. There may also be opportunities for meadow birds.”

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