New hospice Amstelveen troubled after sudden U-turn municipality

Amstelveen – The municipality of Amstelveen has jeopardized the entire arrival of the hospice by making a late U-turn in the planning of the newly planned Hospice Amsteloever on Lindenlaan. The initiators, who have been trying to get a hospice in Amstelveen going for seven years, are surprised and disappointed. The hospice was almost finished when the municipality decided to go differently.


This is what the promoters of Hospice Amsteloever write in an update on the development of the long-awaited hospice (click here). It shows that the official mills suddenly started working differently after the local elections in the spring, and that the new Hospice Amstelover with six beds on the intended site is no longer possible.

The design has already been approved

In addition to the Hospice, a new medical center and two small care towers will also be realized on Lindenlaan. The initiators of the Hospice had already been allocated a plot of land and created a design for the new Hospice building, which was also approved after various consultations with the city planner and city architect. An ‘agreement of intent for the purchase of the construction site’ had also already been drawn up, which was actually ready for signature, after which the site could be officially purchased and the first stake could be driven down last summer.

Choice

VVD and AVA, among others, expressed their support for Hospice Amstelover during the election period, but after the election it suddenly became a different story. Immediately after the municipal elections in March 2022, we were confronted with the first reports of changes to the layout of the plot on Lindenlaan. The background for this is that, in addition to the already planned realization of the Health Centre, Hospice and two small residential towers in Amstelring, a day care center as a fourth facility on the Lindenlaan site still needs to be planned,’ according to the initiators.

Surprise and disappointment

The initiators report that the new construction of the Hospice (regardless of whether it is integrated into the new care apartments to be built on the site) is no longer an option for the Foundation because a delivery time of another 3 to 5 years is predicted with all future financial uncertainties. It also seems that a disagreement has arisen about the scope of the Hospice. Amstelveen Municipality no longer wants 6 beds, but only four. While, according to the promoters, there is a real need for six beds.

Impossible

The foundation concludes that it is currently impossible to draw up a balanced operating budget for the coming years – with four beds. In the coming period, in consultation with Amstelveen Municipality, there will therefore be further hearings on various other options, with a view to finally being able to determine whether the foundation’s realization of the Hospice is still feasible. The next official follow-up meeting is planned for today

Deadline 1 January

The board of the Hospice Amsteloever Foundation has stated at its last board meeting that on January 1, 2023 it wants complete clarity about the realization of the Hospice in Amstelveen: ‘If that clarity is not yet there by this date, the Foundation will decide to take further initiatives with regard to the realization of a Hospice in Amstelveen Municipality and leave the realization of a Hospice to other market parties.’

A chance

However, the foundation is not giving up yet and sees another possibility: ‘Looking forward, the board sees only 1 possibility for the realization of Hospice Amsteloever; in an existing building in Amstelveen acceptable to all parties. Everyone understands that it is a matter of renovation and furnishing in accordance with the previously established program of requirements, but the Foundation’s current board is happy to support it,’ says the Amsteloever Foundation.

Judgment of Didam

The municipal council suddenly announced in September this year, while the plans were already underway, to the municipal council that they wanted a larger share in leading the comprehensive plan on Lindenlaan. While the initiators had already started to look for cooperation with external parties (builder and client) in order to get financing, the board of B&W decided on a major change of course. There was a reason for that.

The development on Lindenlaan was not in line with the now famous ‘Didams verdict’ from 2021. It was about a verdict from the Supreme Court in a case in the municipality of Montferland. Long story short: Municipalities and/or governments may no longer settle sales of land and/or real estate via one-to-one transactions with a market party and must also give other interested parties a chance. In fact, since that judgment, the court has prohibited municipalities from offering real estate and building plots exclusively to one party. If they do, there may be significant claims for damages from other market participants.

Direction

Amstelveen Municipality also wants to take over the management to ensure the realization of emergency social facilities sustainably for the future. In addition, the board of directors considers that the Amsteloever Foundation’s current equity is no longer sufficient to cover the financing of the building plan. According to the municipality, the design of the building plan in the form of low buildings and a large enclosed garden also makes the building concept relatively expensive.

However, the municipality stated that it is prepared to look at alternative scenarios that ‘increase the possibility of an optimal and feasible plan’.


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