Expansion of Harpel solar park: ‘They want to turn it into a giant solar power station’

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Will the solar park in Harpel, which now measures 120 hectares, eventually become 200 hectares? Tonight the Westerwolde municipal council will take a final decision.

If it is up to local residents Hans ter Heijden and Henk Vellekoop, that expansion will not happen. They have informed the city council that they are against the plans. In total, more than thirty people are against the plans, according to responses submitted to the municipality of Westerwolde.

According to Ter Heijden, the solar park is already a ‘mega solar power station’ and the Municipal Executive wants to turn it into a ‘giant solar power station’. Vellekoop also does not want more agricultural land to be ‘sacrificed’.

‘The largest solar park in the Netherlands’

The solar park in Harpel is now 120 hectares and initiator Powerfield says it is the largest solar park in the Netherlands. Blueberries are grown on twenty hectares of the solar park, which will eventually have to hide the panels from view.

Powerfield wants to expand the solar park by eighty hectares. The extension of bushes and the expansion of berry cultivation and ‘flowery grass and shrubs’ must ensure that the panels are no longer visible.

‘I am concerned that we are left with fewer and fewer beautiful places in Westerwolde,’ says Ter Heijden. He is a volunteer at a hiking foundation in Westerwolde. As a hiking enthusiast, the change in the landscape hurts him: ‘Five years ago this was still a free landscape with a lot of fauna: deer, rabbits and hares. You hardly see them anymore. ‘

If you want to cycle around the park, you have already lost half an hour

Henk Vellekoop

Henk Vellekoop has started a petition among local residents. Twenty local residents have signed. According to Vellekoop, the signatories are also concerned about the size of the park.

‘If you want to cycle around the park, you have already lost half an hour’, he argues. ‘We are always talking about Cittaslow here: space and tranquility in this environment. I don’t think such a megalomaniac solar park would fit in there. ‘

Provisional agreement

The Westerwolde municipal council has already given a provisional agreement for the plans in May. PvdA, CDA and GroenLinks were in favor at the time. Municipal interests, Ecological Alternative and Lijst Timmermans were against. The VVD voted divided.

As a result of the reactions, the so-called views, the city council will take a final decision on the solar park tonight.

Also read:
– First harvest of blueberries in Westerwolde yields thousands of kilos of ‘healthy candy’
– Westerwolde council clears the way for the expansion of Harpel solar park
– Residents are concerned about the potential expansion of the Vlagtwedde solar park





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