Foundation in the making that takes care of the quality of life in cores around VDL Nedcar
VDL Nedcar sets up a foundation that will make a contribution to the quality of life in and around the residential areas in the immediate vicinity of the car factory in Born by means of green space compensation in particular. This foundation will be named Stichting Groenfonds omgeving VDL Nedcar.
The establishment of this foundation with this social purpose stems from agreements that VDL Nedcar made at the beginning of 2022 with the De Groene Sporenwolf (DGS) foundation, to meet objections to VDL Nedcar’s expansion plans. DGS, the municipalities of Echt-Susteren and Sittard-Geleen and VDL Nedcar all delegate two board members who will take a seat on the foundation’s board.
Foundation board composition
On behalf of DGS, board members Raymond Schlössels and Dirkjan van der Hoven will take part in the new foundation. On behalf of Sittard-Geleen, they are the aldermen for economic affairs and green and nature and landscape, Yvonne Salvino-Meijer and Ivo Tillie, respectively. Echt-Susteren intends to delegate aldermen Peter Pustjens (nature, management and landscape) and Hub Meuwissen (redevelopment project Nieuwstadt/VDL Nedcar/A2). For VDL Nedcar, the foundation board will include CFO Dennis te Boekhorst and project manager François Brand. The aim is to establish the Stichting Groenfonds omgeving VDL Nedcar before 1 May 2023.
In addition to the compensation already paid, VDL Nedcar is making an amount of 1.8 million euros available to the foundation. Which projects the foundation will take on will be determined by the foundation board after its establishment. In any case, it will concern projects aimed at green development and improving the quality of life in and around the residential areas in the vicinity of VDL Nedcar.
‘We value a good relationship with the local residents in our area,’ says CEO John van Soerland of VDL Nedcar. ‘As is known, the quality of life of the residential areas and the ecology near our car factory are close to our hearts. It goes without saying that we want to invest in this.’
The new foundation is the final piece of an extensive compensation programme, which includes replanting trees, planting trees (threefold compared to felled trees), 130 bat boxes, new badger setts, new herb-rich grassland, new fruit trees, new beehives, a socially, sustainably and circularly renovated castle, new cycling and walking tracks that give the area an enhanced recreational character and efforts to realise a pedestrian bridge over the provincial road (N297). VDL Nedcar is also in talks with regional schools to have students taking practical woodworking courses make wooden street furniture for use in and around the Wolfrath recreation area.
The ecologists who regularly monitor the compensation area speak of ‘great results’. In and near Sterrebos, dozens of bat boxes show traces of habitation (drops). The boxes at Wolfrath Castle are also used and bats have been seen in pile boxes in the compensation area. During an inspection, it was also found that one of the badger setts is in use. In addition, rare insect species have been found in the compensation area.