The unstoppable growth of chip machine manufacturer ASML affects many people in Veldhoven. The company recently purchased three sports and event halls and a stadium in Veldhoven. This has caused an uproar among residents, says party leader Wessel Mandus of GroenLinks & PvdA Veldhoven. “In Veldhoven, the prevailing image is that ASML is buying everything. This purchase has hit people hard in Veldhoven.
It is still early in the year, but ASML has already purchased a trampoline park, a sports hall, a playground, tennis courts and an event hall. These are the places where Veldhoven residents go to a children’s party, play sports or attend an event. “Now it’s getting really close. First it was the commercial building. Now it’s facilities and residential homes.”
These are exactly the things that worry Veldhoven residents, according to the group leader. “We often talk about the distress in the housing market. About people who cannot find a home. About maintaining the level of facilities. If ASML then expands and buys facilities and houses and then builds commercial buildings there, it will affect the residents of Veldhoven. It has reached It’s really up to the people now.
Mandus was born and raised in Veldhoven. He certainly also sees ASML’s successes and the company’s advantages. “I don’t have an anti-ASML story. I think they can grow, as long as it’s balanced.” According to him, this balance may have already been lost. According to Mandos, politicians have to take into account the “dark sides” of growth. Because ASML’s growth Raises questions.”The question at Veldhoven is whether ASML has become too big. Procurement also raises many questions. Whether we as a municipality are still in control.”
“People wonder if the municipality is in control.”
It was announced on Wednesday that the company made profits of around 8 billion euros last year, while it is still around 5.5 billion euros in 2022. The company wants to grow even more. Peter Wennink, CEO of ASML, has indicated that he may want to expand abroad if the number of migrant workers here is limited.
Party leader Mandus was on the edge of his seat. “This shows that Wennink and ASML have a clear vision for the future. They want to grow here, and if that is not possible, elsewhere. This makes it even more important for the local government to have a vision of how to see this in Veldhoven.”
ASML’s willingness to buy into Veldhoven is great. Last year, the company purchased 38 properties in the municipality, including an entire row of thirteen residential homes. This year, the desire to expand led to the purchase of halls the size of five football fields.
“People ask whether the municipality is still in control of the situation. Or we decide what is or is not possible. Or ASML is implementing its plans and we respond accordingly. We have to have this discussion in politics.”
Veldhoven has a population of approximately 47,000 people. The village is changing due to purchases. Places where residents once walked their dogs will soon no longer be free access. With the recent purchase from ASML, the Padel The Padellers Association will also disappear. The club is disappointed not to find another suitable location in Veldhoven and is therefore continuing in Valkenswaard.
“Now you can see it’s really starting to get angry.”
Veldhoven’s domestic politics determine a global player like ASML. “The stakes are high. It is remarkable that we, as a medium-sized municipality, limit how big ASML can become. ASML is located here, and we can be proud of that, but local interests must not be overlooked. Veldhoven must not become a victim.”
Mandus believes the municipality should think carefully about the vision for Veldhoven. That’s why he submitted a request to the mayor and aldermen. Surprisingly, Mandus is the same leader of the party that rules in Veldhoven.
“There has to be an economic vision. About the growth of ASML and the well-being of the population. The municipality does not have a vision, which is why we then react to ASML’s plans instead of being in the driver’s seat ourselves. Maybe we should have had this discussion earlier, but now you see It’s starting to really hurt.
In this explainer video, you can see all about ASML’s growth plans:
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