WUR greenhouses illegal

Two greenhouses along the Linge that are part of the testing facility Proeftuin Randwijk are to be decommissioned.
The two greenhouses at the lower left are to be removed. Hemmen Estate is shown across the water. Photo Erik van ‘t Hullenaar

Overbetuwe municipality has no intention of providing a permit for the WUR greenhouses. And thus, they are illegal. WUR now faces the choice to remove the greenhouses entirely, move them a short distance to a different spot on the property, or appeal the decision.

The greenhouses are a source of great annoyance for Frans van Lynden, steward of the   Hemmen estate just across the Linge. To protect the immediate surroundings of the estate against unbridled construction, constructions higher than 3 metres are prohibited. The greenhouses constructed by WUR one year ago are almost twice that: 5.5 metres.


Conflicts between Hemmen Estate and WUR about construction heights occurred with some regularity in the past three decades. Hence, a maximum of 3 metres was stipulated in the zoning plan. When Van Lynden protested against the construction, WUR attempted a ruse by quickly applying for a temporary permit for ten years. The ‘temporary’ nature would make the construction of more than 3 metres possible.


However, Overbetuwe municipality stated it would not be granting a temporary permit. Hence, the greenhouses are deemed illegal and must now be removed under the threat of administrative fines. How WUR’s executive board will respond is not yet known.

This article was previously published in De Gelderlander/Bernardo van Hal

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