Albert Heijn abandons construction in the Lutkemeerpolder

Climate activists from Behoud Lutkemeer protest in front of an Albert Heijn.Image –

On Friday, activists who want to keep the polder on the western edge of Osdorp green got wind of Albert Heijn’s decision. Via Linkedin, they were told by Albert Heijn that the option that the supermarket chain had on part of the polder had been cancelled.

Albert Heijn confirmed on Sunday that the distribution center will not be there. A spokesperson writes that the ‘reservation agreement’ for the polder land was canceled a few weeks ago.

According to the spokesperson, Albert Heijn has always emphasized that the supermarket chain was still exploring the possibility of a distribution center in the Lutkemeerpolder. The supermarket chain is now exploring ‘other, more strategically interesting’ locations for us.

Doors glued shut

Albert Heijn does not comment on whether actions against the supermarket played a role in this decision. Opponents of the construction in the Lutkemeerpolder previously called on their supporters to speak out against the supermarket chain.

In September, the doors of eighteen Albert Heijn branches in Amsterdam were opened glued shut. That action was then claimed in an anonymous statement by the otherwise unknown group ‘AH Must Go’, but with reference to the plans to ‘build a large concrete distribution center in the precious Lutkemeerpolder’.

The opponents of building over the Lutkemeerpolder, united in the action group Conservation Lutkemeer, crowed victory in a press release on Sunday afternoon. On Wednesday they want to celebrate the departure of Albert Heijn at city hall. There they demand the immediate cessation of construction in the Lutkemeerpolder.

Growing vegetables

Preparations have already been made in the polder in recent months to prepare the ground for construction. Now that Albert Heijn has decided against it, the activists see their chance to keep the entire polder green and to use it to grow vegetables for Amsterdammers.

Incidentally, Albert Heijn would only build on part of the polder, 5.5 hectares. However, the agreement that project developer SADC would have about a distribution center has already been argued several times to clear the polder for preparations for construction. SADC was already in court in 2019 with a buyer of the land who had to remain anonymous because it was a listed company. Those plans were then presented in court by the project developer as a reason to hurry and end the occupation of the area by activists.

Care farm was allowed to stay

Because SADC is partly owned by the municipality of Amsterdam, the activists are also addressing the city council about this. They had expected more from GroenLinks, the party of alderman Marieke van Doorninck (Spatial Development), but that party was convinced by a majority of the city council in 2018 that the plans were already too advanced, causing the municipality to pay tens of millions in damages. would cost if the construction plans for the Lutkemeerpolder were to be scrapped. Later on I managed to become a care farm To keep the Buttercup on a small part of the Lutkemeerpolder.

The Party for the Animals has requested a debate about the consequences for the Lutkemeerpolder now that Albert Heijn has decided not to settle here. Councilor Jennifer Bloemberg sees new opportunities to preserve ‘the last organic arable land in Amsterdam’.

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