Municipalities join forces in discussion on reopening the De Peel air base

Residents of thirteen municipalities around the place where Defense flybase De Peel wants to reopen, has expressed great concern. Therefore, the municipalities Deurne, Helmond, Venray, Gemert-Bakel, Land van Cuijk, Horst aan de Maas, Bergen, Boekel, Someren, Laarbeek, Geldrop-Mierlo, Gennep and Asten will join forces in the discussion with the Armed Forces on reopening. the military airport. The City Council of Venray has already stated that it is against the arrival of the air base that the other municipalities have not yet explicitly expressed their preference.

In a letter to the defense, Mayor Blanksma of Helmond Municipality, on behalf of the cooperating municipalities, says that the reactivation of the De Peel air base has an enormous effect on a large area in North Limburg and North Brabant East. “We are aware of the security situation in Eastern Europe. Therefore, we are well aware that it is necessary that there should be sufficient noise space available for the exercise and training of combat aircraft. Nevertheless, we think it is important to respond to the response note from the De Peel air base so that we can maintain a good living and living environment for our residents, “emphasizes Helmond’s mayor.

Inform carefully
The cooperating municipalities state that they want to inform their residents as well as possible, but they are not able to do so at present because they believe that the Ministry of Defense does not communicate quickly and well enough about the plans. “As interested municipalities, we have a duty to our residents to be able to fully participate in the process of a new airport decree. Our information position is currently insufficient to participate adequately and on an equal footing in this process and from there inform our residents carefully and in a timely manner ”, the thirteen municipalities state. They want to know from the Minister of Defense how he will inform the municipalities and residents in a timely and careful manner.

Noise nuisance already
The administrators in the cooperating municipalities are also concerned about the increase in aircraft noise when the airport reopens: “Residents are already experiencing noise nuisance from Volkel Airport’s activities, regardless of whether it is in combination with exercises above and near Lieutenant General Best Barracks. , as well as because of Eindhoven and Weeze in Germany. ”

The municipalities believe that the Ministry of Defense only focuses on noise pollution during take-off and landing of aircraft and not on the noise from aircraft in the air. “The increase in noise for the region – which will occur after reactivation – is not considered further or is the subject of research. There is also a link between particles and health that has not yet been mapped. In addition, it is important to be aware of the impact on health that the residents experience, “say the municipalities.

Alternative locations
The local administrators also doubt whether the old base in Vredepeel is the most suitable place for a military airport: “The air base is not ready for use, all assets have been removed or are obsolete. It is therefore not an airport that can be used immediately. We agree with the EIA Committee’s advice that a broader study of alternative locations should be carried out. ” Because no flight movements have taken place at De Peel Airport for the past 30 years, municipalities are wondering if there are acquired or existing rights.

Nitrogen rum
In addition, the thirteen municipalities point out that they face a huge task in contributing to the appalling shortage of housing in the region. Many construction projects have stalled due to nitrogen problems in relation to surrounding Natura 2000 sites. In order to be able to realize housing in the coming years, it is important for the region that there is sufficient nitrogen space. Municipalities fear that the reactivation of the De Peel air base will lead to a further increase in nitrogen and that it will lead to an even more difficult housing task.

Contrary to national vision
According to the cooperating municipalities, housing shortages and the quality of the living environment are problems that are also recognized by the national government when the National Environmental Vision (NOVI) is determined. Eight regions have been identified within NOVI that deserve extra support in the development and approach of physical space. NOVI De Peel is one of these areas. An important goal for De Peel is to realize a future-proof, healthy and natural living environment. According to the municipalities, the reactivation of an air base is contrary to this national vision and the investments that the government is making in this region to realize the vision.

The Ministry of Defense wants to reopen the air base in Vredepeel because there is not enough noise space in the Netherlands at other military airports to practice adequately. The plan is to take off and land from the air base with twelve F35 fighter jets for 18 or 24 weeks a year. In addition, the space will be used for exercises with helicopters and C-130 Hercules aircraft, as a training ground for exercise calls and for test flights with drones.

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