Court of Appeals The Hague recognizes Association’s rights
DEC 7, 2007
In a legal battle spanning over three years now, the Vereniging Poortgebouw (VPG) in Rotterdam has been fighting off the owner de Groene Groep’s (GG) attempts to evict us inhabitants and redevelop our home into expensive office space. Parallel, we have created our own feasible renovation plan for this historic harbour building with the help of professional advisors. We have attracted financial partners willing to work together with us on this vision. However, the current owner continues to reject handsome offers of 1 Million Euros –more than twice the price they paid in 2001– despite broad local and international support for our plan. But the new year promises to bring with it a definite decision about the future function of the Poortgebouw.
The VPG disputed the Rotterdam Municipal Court’s decision which favored the owner’s so-called ‘urgent own need for renovation’ and took the case to the Court of Appeals in The Hague in the summer of 2006. Recently, the court presented an ‘interim finding’. For the owner to win this right to renovate, they must prove that there is sufficient replacement housing. And not just rooms for the individual inhabitants but a building which provides space for the entire 30 person group and their collective activities. Before December 20, the GG must present a suitable and available alternative in Rotterdam which meets these needs of the inhabitants association as stated in its statutes.
Having no alternative offer to date, we and our partners are increasingly eager to begin the much needed renovation according to our plan. In the six years the GG have owned this national monument, they have neglected their contractual responsibility for structural maintenance. Their ‘dedication’ to the Poortgebouw apparently will only begin when they can realize their profit-driven plans for office space. Even when brickwork falls to the street endangering passers-by! Emergency repairs are only considered after the inhabitants have written several requests borderline threatening with legal action.
Our vision for the Poortgebouw is not only to preserve this important historic property in Rotterdam: this plan for a mix of housing with social and cultural functions offers an increased accessibility to the public and creates a lively and safe place in the neighborhood. A summary of this plan can be found HERE: http://www.poortgebouw.nl/toekomstvisie/summary_EN.pdf
On December 14 and 15, 2007 the VPG invites everyone to their Open Days to have a tour through our home and through our vision for the future. There will also be performances and exhibitions by the resident artists and musicians.
Friday, December 14, 19:00; 20:00 DJs Elle Bandita & One Man Nation Saturday, December 15, 14:00-18:00
SIGN THE POORTGEBOUW PETITION
3071 JX Rotterdam NL