Dark clouds are gathering above Dijkerhoek. The idyllic ons-know-ons village is divided to the bone. Building plans in the village center are putting relations on edge. The consequence? Friendships die and neighbors don’t talk to each other anymore. What is going on in this once tight-knit community?
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Blink your eyes twice and you’re past it. Dijkerhoek, formerly the village of Het Bonte Paard. The village of the windmill De Hegeman. And for several years now a village of discord. There is deep division in the six streets. A building plan for four homes is the basis of a long-standing discussion. The question on everyone’s mind is: should Dijkerhoek renew or should Dijkerhoek remain the same small town under the smoke of Holten?
The Maatmansweg runs right through the tiny center of the village. Only occasionally a car passes by. Here on the playing field lies the source of all the problems. Building developer Bramer from Vriezenveen wants to build four houses here. Two life-resistant units and two detached family homes.
The new construction is not without consequences. The arrival of the houses means that the playing field has to be changed. The spacious turf is getting smaller. And part of Dijkerhoek can’t stomach that. Because where are the children supposed to play?
‘It cost friendships’
The village has been divided to the bone for about five years. The small community says it was surprised by building plans right in the heart of the village. Those who are in favor think that opponents should not complain. Those opponents insist on the importance of greenery and play facilities. Because there is not that much room for maneuver in Dijkerhoek.
A woman walks her dog. “It is important for the quality of life in Dijkerhoek,” she says. She is in favor and would rather see the new houses built today than tomorrow. “Development is part of it. Nothing stays the same forever.”
Then there’s the other side. Several local residents say: “We were told, it was not discussed with us. And that in such a small village. That is not possible.” The majority of both proponents and opponents prefer to remain anonymous. Because that dichotomy in the village, they suffer enough from that already. “This has cost a lot of friendships.”
Already the second plan
Bramer’s current plans are not the first ideas for the location. There was an initiative before, from a villager. He wanted a complex with five senior apartments. A plan that was eventually rejected. The initiator had to go back to the drawing board. But he didn’t. He gave up and moved. At that moment, the Vriezenveen company Bramer came into the picture. And he has a different plan for the Maatmansweg. That ‘four-house plan’, about which opinions differ considerably.
“We don’t begrudge anyone a home, but…”, says a Dijkerhoekse at her kitchen table. She understands all too well that there is a major housing shortage. That many young people would like to stay in Dijkerhoek, but cannot afford the frugal houses that become available. “I wonder if they will live in that spot there. The asking price for the new houses is already estimated at around 4 tons. Is that for our young people?” Moreover, Dijkerhoek has already jointly made plans for starter homes on Essensteeg. “We get the idea that the houses are for people from outside.”
Building on the sports field
What puts many residents off is the location. It is a green strip in the middle of the village, next to the Kulturhus Dijkerhoek. If the plans go ahead, the sports field will have to make way. Largely, at least, because after construction there is a piece left over to make ‘a play location’. A land exchange has been agreed with the municipality for this purpose. In the future, the playing field will move to the plot on which an outdated barn now stands. The idea is that this will bring the field closer to the public primary school. When the time comes, a path can be laid behind it. This way, the children no longer have to go to the playing field via the street.
‘Where can children play later?’
Fun in itself, but the fact that there is so little playing field left falls into the wrong ground with quite a few Dijkerhoekers. After all, the lawn is used a lot. For football, a neighborhood barbecue and in the summer there is regularly a swimming pool for the children. In addition, the primary school uses the field for sports activities. “Where can the children play later? Only a third of the field remains,” says resident Karin Klein Teeselink. She lives at the beginning of the street and watches the building plans with suspicion.
She and her husband are most concerned about their appearance. Because the building plan also provides for a new parking lot next to the cultural center. In that kulturhus, the cultural heart of Dijkerhoek, there are various local associations. Childcare is also housed there. The Klein Teeselink family lives opposite the plot where the parking spaces are to be built. Necessary due to traffic problems, according to the plan. “But there is not that much traffic in the street,” says Klein Teeselink. “The problem is not too few parking spaces, but that people park incorrectly.”
Empty parking spaces
Moreover, there seems to be quite a lot of parking space in the village. If you look into the street, you will see parking spaces on both sides. Empty. Also a few meters away on the Hakkertsweg, at the entrance of the primary school. Most children walk or cycle to school in the morning and afternoon.
The question is whether the users of the kulturhus will make use of the extra parking facilities. The culture house board does not know whether it will stay at this location. There are going to be votes to move the community center elsewhere in the village. On September 14, the board members hope to present these new construction plans to Dijkerhoekers. And that also increases the dichotomy. “Soon the sacrifice of greenery will have been in vain.”
The zoning plan is available for inspection until August 9. Several local residents have lodged objections.
Bramer company: ‘Everyone can of course think something about it’
Construction developer Bramer from Vriezenveen has been working on the plans in Dijkerhoek for at least five years. A long way, not only because of the various walk-in days and corona, because the municipality made a new housing vision for the village, which delayed the plan for a few years.
“We spent a lot of time coordinating with the neighbourhood. We have already adjusted the plans three to four times,” says Peter Leferink, Bramer’s director. He knows that there are objections in the neighbourhood. “Everyone can of course think something about it.” The director says that the focus of his company is on the houses. The parking lot and the playing field are the responsibility of the municipality of Rijssen-Holten.
Leferink knows about the rumors about house prices, but says that those prices have not yet been determined. “But the longer the plan remains, the more expensive the homes become.”