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Municipality of Deventer claims compensation from Rijkswaterstaat

With roadworks to widen the A1 motorway near Deventer (province of Overijssel, the Netherlands) now complete, a substantial dispute has arisen between the Municipality of Deventer and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS). The municipality is demanding compensation for ‘stolen land’. Geerten Boogaard, Professor Local Government, discusses this on Dutch television news service ‘RTL Nieuws’.

RTL Nieuws reports that at the time, the Municipality of Deventer had agreed to surrender an area of land to allow for the widening of the A1 motorway. This land was initially earmarked for a business park, and the buyers were to contribute to the cost of facilities on the park. The municipality is now demanding compensation for the damage suffered and believes that Deventer’s residents should not be disproportionately ‘burdened more than the rest of the Netherlands through the widening of the A1’.

Professor Boogaard says a rather unique situation has now emerged: an escalating quarrel between two authorities. Similar disputes between authorities have come up in the past, but the authorities concerned eventually managed to settle those disputes.

An independent committee has investigated the matter but was unable to reconcile the two parties. RTL Nieuws reports that as a result, the parties had to appear before the administrative court of the Dutch Council of State in early June.

Professor Boogaard explains that national interests prevail over the municipality's interests in these matters: ‘The government can argue that a road is being built for the benefit of the public, but the Municipality of Deventer doesn’t have to put up with everything, of course.’

He predicts that, having carefully gone through all the procedures, the administrative court will rule in RWS’ favour, meaning the municipality will not be awarded compensation.

More information

Read the full RTL Nieuws article (in Dutch) 

Photo: Nagy Szabi through Unsplash 

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