Nine months after the State Council destroyed Hilversum’s center plan, there is a new plan. Well, new. As far as the residents of Langwensen and Schoolstraat are concerned, this new proposal is quite similar to the controversial old one. The new central road is in front of their door and even more noise is allowed. “The judgment has not been taken into account,” they say.
Today, councilor Arno Scheepers, who is responsible for the major redevelopment of Hilversum’s station area, gave an account of the new center plan. In addition to more housing on the Stationsplein – not 200 but 325 – construction of bicycle sheds and furnishing of the station hall, great attention is paid to the relocation of the central ring.
Hilversum’s politicians no longer want the road through the center to run through Stationsstraat. This road must be car-free, so that the crossing from Groest to the market area will be clear and, above all, safer. This means that the new central ring runs through Koninginneweg, ends at Schoolstraat and then enters Langwensen, allowing traffic to reach Melkpad.
The residents of Langwensen are strongly against this. For them, it means much more visibility to the street, more emission of particles and even more noise, when the noise is already so bad. They were successful in February. The State Council, the country’s highest administrative judge, rejected the municipal plan.
Hilversum did not have the homework in order in terms of sound. Too little consideration was given to the total noise nuisance of the residents. The municipality should have added all the noise together, such as traffic, railways, planes, events and markets. It didn’t happen.
Because of this slap on the wrist, the residents hoped that the municipality would adopt a different tone, but they quickly discovered that Hilversum would follow the same course. Now that the new plan is really finished and in two weeks will be considered by the politicians, they are tasting the same wine in slightly different packaging.
Until after the decimal point
To their disappointment, residents say they are not taken seriously again. In the recent period, representatives of the interest organization Langwensen and Schoolstraat have studied various reports far past the decimal point.
Their conclusion is that the figures provided by Hilversum do not agree with those from previous reports, and that the municipality has now decided that the noise nuisance must now be a maximum of 68 decibels. In the plan from 2020, it was still 63 decibels.
“It seems very likely that the councilor will choose to get the new plan through the council quickly by manipulating numbers”
“The now requested increase in the noise level is against the rules,” the interest organization believes. “It seems very likely that the councilor will choose to get the 2022 subdivision plan through the council quickly by manipulating numbers and adjusting the noise standards to irresponsible values,” reads their firm conclusion.
Only 9,000 left
Scheepers would have manipulated it by giving different numbers from the same report from 2019. Marion Donk, on behalf of the residents, gives the example of the number of cars that they will drive through their street on average per day in the future. In the old plan there were 13,000 cars and now there are just over 9,000.
She thinks that is very strange. Especially because Hilversum has to build hundreds of extra homes in the immediate vicinity of Langwensen. Take Koninginneweg (125), Stationsplein (325) and on the other side of the railway where another 300 homes are to be built on Korte Noorderweg. More people, therefore also more cars, a large part of which will also make daily use of the new center ring.
“We can’t juggle numbers, because the State Council will see through that if we end up there again”
There is absolutely no question of manipulation, says Scheepers. Precisely because of the Riksrådet’s devastating ruling, Hilversum has had new studies done and new traffic forecasts made. This plan has been laid out carefully and with integrity, he says. “Other than that, it’s not like we can juggle numbers. If it’s the case that we end up in the State Council again, it’s really going to blow through.”
The studies show that the average number of cars per day is decreasing compared to the previous plan. On a weekday, around 10,300 cars would take Long Wished. “These figures are calculated by Anthea, an agency that is qualified for this. And we also had that data checked again. We do not build models ourselves. Those calculations are not ours. And the additional housing in the center has no corresponding effect. . on the ring.”
It is true that he fully understands that the residents of Langwensen and Schoolstraat are not happy that in future they will have the center ring in front of their door. In his opinion, the increase in traffic and the additional noise pollution is acceptable. The standard can be raised a little in the heart of the city center, because it is simply the place for more excitement.
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The college does not seem to get anything for the concerned residents. Once again they target the political parties. Hopefully, they will be able to counteract the long-desired unrest and, for example, choose the alternative that the local residents themselves have proposed. They suggest continuing along the center ring through Koninginneweg to the intersection with Naarderstraat. Then fewer homes and in any case no houses with living space at the front, such as a balcony, will be affected by the ring road.
According to the interest organization, their variant has never been seriously investigated. Scheepers claims the exact opposite. He says that a study by Royal HaskoningDHV shows that said intersection is difficult because it gets stuck there so quickly, making it unsuitable as part of the center ring. In addition, more houses are coming along the ring road.
More than a hundred houses
Donk has absolutely no numerical understanding of this. Langwensen alone already has 200 homes with balconies. A short circle along the other part of Koninginneweg and Naarderstraat in the direction of Melkpad leads to the next sum of 102 residences. “I don’t know how you come to the conclusion that it is more housing.”
The impasse seems unbreakable. If the city council agrees to the new center plan, the two parties will meet again in court. Maybe back to the State Council. What the two camps have in common is that they would like to talk about a solution to the housing and quality of life problem. So far there is no progress at all.