Area development and expansion of VDL Nedcar

Area development and expansion of VDL Nedcar

24 April 2019

VDL Nedcar gets room to expand from the province of Limburg. The province and VDL Nedcar have signed an agreement in principle on the sale of land located to the north and south of the factory. On Tuesday 26 February an important step was taken that will enable VDL Nedcar to expand its factory site.

VDL Nedcar has grown enormously in the last few years. More employees and larger flows of goods are producing more traffic around the factory. In order to be ready for the future expansion of VDL Nedcar and to support the automotive industry in this region, the province of Limburg, adjacent municipalities and VDL Nedcar are seeking to ensure the sustainable development of the areas around the factory. Our collective aim is to guarantee the continuity of our automotive industry, which is unique in the Netherlands, while not losing sight of the accessibility and liveability of our region, our natural environment and the recreational opportunities.

On 26 February a press event was held in which the province of Limburg, the municipalities of Echt-Susteren and Sittard-Geleen, and VDL Nedcar explained the idea behind the project, the objectives and the timeline for development of the area. During this press event, Mr Van den Akker (member of the Province of Limburg Provincial Executive) and Paul van Vuuren (CEO of VDL Nedcar) signed a cooperation agreement.

De heer Van Vuuren en de heer Van den Akker ondertekenen de samenwerkingsovereenkomstDe heer Van Vuuren en de heer Van den Akker ondertekenen de samenwerkingsovereenkomst

Paul van Vuuren said, “The development of the area around our factory is crucial to creating the spatial conditions necessary for our multi-client strategy. In the future we want to be able to serve several clients. After all, remaining dependent on a single client makes us vulnerable in this competitive market. A precondition for serving several clients in the future is to have sufficient expansion opportunities, which means sufficient land, with the right zoning, and associated permits. We are arranging this now so we will not be hindered by lengthy procedures as we seek a new customer.”

Information evening

An information evening for local residents and stakeholders was held in Hotel Amrath in Born on Wednesday 10 April. The turnout was high, and a video was shown in which Paul van Vuuren tells why VDL Nedcar wants to expand. Provincial Executive Member Joost van den Akker explained why this is important for our province and invited stakeholders to share their thoughts about the plans. This evening revolved around laying out the plans, listening, answering questions and gathering suggestions. After all, we want to consider the interests of the residents of Holtum and Nieuwstadt in our decision-making process.

What's going to happen?

The Province of Limburg will draw up a provincial integration plan. This is a provincial zoning plan to legally establish the zoning of a particular area. The province will develop this plan for our factory site and the surrounding roads. VDL Nedcar's expansion plans and future developments of the roads in the immediate vicinity will be taken into account. The aim is to ensure smooth traffic flow and traffic safety on provincial roads N297 and N276 and the connecting municipal roads around our factory site.

Environmental interests

In preparing this provincial integration plan, the province of Limburg will not only examine the interests of our car factory but also those of other regional stakeholders. The province is joining forces with its partners – the municipalities of Sittard-Geleen and Echt-Susteren – and VDL Nedcar. We are naturally concerned about the quality of life in the neighbouring residential areas. The development of the area at VDL Nedcar must go hand in hand with the liveability, accessibility, nature and recreation in our region.

Roads around the factory

In the event of any expansion, changes will have to be made to the roads around VDL Nedcar. In doing so, we must ensure the smooth flow and safety of traffic, with consideration for sustainability. The provincial roads and connecting municipal roads will not be changed immediately. Several variants are being studied, as alternative plans. The extent of the expansion will partly determine which variant will be implemented.

No rail connection

The previously planned rail access to VDL Nedcar's factory and the construction of a Car Handling Terminal has been cancelled. These plans were shelved due to the inability to find an operator for this terminal. From a business point of view, this terminal proved to be infeasible. The method of shipping the cars will therefore remain unchanged.