The presentation by Van Doorninck in the city council on Thursday of a report in which residents would have contributed, was the proverbial last straw. The departure of residents from the various sounding board groups is a blow to the GL politician.
“Participation in a process in which the input of participants is not listened to, and where the results are presented as if they were widely supported by the participants, is incorrect and unacceptable,” said the letter, which was signed by 41 residents.
In April last year, the residents of Amsterdam were promised through the city council that they would have a say in the criteria with regard to health, nature and spatial preferences that the wind turbine plans would meet. However, no criteria can be found in the interim report Signals from the city, which Van Doorninck presented this week as ‘participation’.
The Amsterdam GL alderman Marieke van Doorninck (Sustainability) presented the interim report ‘Signals from the city’ this week.
Ⓒ Richard Sleeve
“How can a municipal council be so laconic with the health of its residents,” complains Harry de Groot, who participated on behalf of the Buikslotermeerdijk houseboats. “The permanent creation of alternative facts is what bothers me the most,” says Naut Kusters of the Windalarm organization. “It frustrates public debate and leads to sub-optimal, expensive decisions.”
Others blame the Stopera for the fact that the entire ‘participation process’ has been a one-way street. “I experienced the reflection phase as a farce. The sounding board group turned out not to be intended to collect input from us,” explains Corina Stins from Gein. Marnix Kerkhoff of neighborhood association Zonneplein: “There is absolutely no reflection to keep the neighborhood liveable. Just push through with the help of consultants who speak on behalf of the municipality.”
Van Doorninck still wants to use a SEA to compare the different search areas for the wind turbines. However, critics in the council believe that the Stopera should wait until new national noise and distance standards for wind turbines are known in 2023.
Coalition party D66 was already extremely critical on Thursday about the functioning of the alderman. Councilor Bart Vink was very annoyed that he had only received important documents for the windmill debate at the last minute, and he was not pleased with the fact that the alderman had sent news about her EIA plan to Het Parool and not to the city council first. That was against Vink’s sore leg. He is also disappointed that residents are now giving up.
“We desperately need to make our city more sustainable. But not with unacceptable damage to the health of Amsterdammers or nature. Critical and constructive thinking by Amsterdammers, other experts and the city council is therefore essential,” says councilor Vink. “It is therefore very worrying that Amsterdammers are now giving up. Time is short, but this support needs to be restored.”
VVD councilor Stijn Nijsen is not surprised that so many fellow citizens are turning their backs on Van Doorninck. ,,Due to the arrogant attitude of GL, that party only damages the support for the energy transition among Amsterdammers. It is very bad that GL refuses to draw up explicit standards to prevent damage from wind turbines to nature and the health of local residents. It is more than right that residents give up.”