See first, then believe. Locals at a pig farm in Logtsebaan in Oirschot and Natuurmonumenten are delighted that the municipality and county are ready to buy the company. But they won’t be reassured until the city council approves the council’s proposal on June 21.
The mayor and council members hope the purchase will put an end to long-running discussions. But above all they want to save neighboring Campina from further nitrogen misery. It is one of the most endangered natural areas of our country.
Lots of conversations and lawsuits
The municipality of Auerschot and Johan van Hall has been working on this for nearly fifteen years. The farmer wants to house up to 19,000 pigs on his farm and has also secured a permit for that. But there was no expansion whatsoever, in part because there were various matters in the State Council.
Because the municipality, local residents and a number of interest groups do not want more pigs in this location. This causes a lot of damage to de Campina and Oisterwijkse Vennen. There are two protected nature reserves located nearby.
Last year, the company suddenly put up for sale. The prefecture, responsible for the remote area, tried to buy it, but those negotiations came to nothing. Earlier this week it was announced that the municipality of Ouerschot had reached an agreement with the county with Van Hall, who did not want to comment.
Possible gallows over 1.8 million
If the city council agrees, the county will ask the Spatial Planning Development Company to buy out and demolish the company. Then the conspiracy can only be inhabited. Selling that land could partly pay for taking over the pig farming. The rest should come from the sale of homes to be built in Middelbeers, which is also within Oirschot. Proceeds will also go to Room for Room. If these homes are not sold, there is a risk of losing more than 1.8 million euros to the municipality.
Alderman Joep van de Veen hopes the council will agree to the agreement: “There is very little risk to the municipality. Sometimes you must dare to hold your neck for a good cause.”
very long dark cloud”
Toine Cooijmans from Natuurmonumenten is happy with the council’s proposal. I’ve heard it through the media, among other people in the area. This file has been hanging like a dark cloud over Kampina for a very long time. We are surprised, but above all very happy that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
However, the Executive Board’s decision also raises questions for Cooijmans. “We have learned in this case not to rejoice until it is. I can’t imagine a farmer going to start a new venture elsewhere, but I wonder what will happen to the nitrogen rights. Is it traded, so that the company can establish itself elsewhere near Campina?” According to Van de Veen, that would not be the case.
If it were up to the Brabant Environmental Consortium, it wouldn’t, says Director Vimke Dengemans: “Strict measures are needed in the very short term to achieve the 50 per cent nitrogen reduction target. It would then make sense to prevent the addition of new nitrogen emitters.” So the council member can also reassure her.
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