Dairy farmers John and Gerda Meijer don’t understand that the government wants to build a large barracks on their land. The two own a 55-hectare cattle farm with 170 dairy cows in Erkemederpad. It is one of eight farms on the land where the defense might want to build barracks. John and Gerda Meijer think this plan is absurd. So they hope to cancel the plans soon.
John heard from Omroep Flevoland on Friday 2 December and heard about the defense’s plans to build a barracks at Zeewolde. He wondered if his fellow cultivators knew where this was. At half past four that same afternoon he came home to drink coffee and on his arrival two men from the defense were at the door. There the couple is told that their company is part of the preferred location of the super barracks. “I was really shocked,” says Gerda Meijer. “At that moment you really have no words. It’s ridiculous.”
“You try to hide it, but it’s there 24/7”
Stel was forced to move earlier
The plans of the barracks instantly evoke memories of years gone by. John and Gerda have been living in Zuidlope for about eight years, having had to move earlier due to government plans. The family lived on the Dodaarsweg in Zeewolde and had to leave for the Oostvaarderswold nature strip. It was supposed to be a natural link between Oostvaardersplassen and Veluwe, but this plan ultimately failed. “And now we are being asked to leave again,” John says. “We are not happy about that.”
“You try to hide it. But it’s there 24/7,” says Gerda. Together with the seven neighbors, they wrote an urgent letter on Tuesday with a series of objections. Entrepreneurs are busy now getting their side of the story in the spotlight. Contacts have now been made with the municipality of Zeewold, the district of Flevoland and the Senate. “In this way we hope to convince people that it is not a good idea to hand over all that is green to that which is gray.”
According to Gerda Meijer, Flevoland is not suitable for “super-gradient” scenarios. However, King’s Commissioner Lin Verbeek lobbied for this barracks in Zeewold. Zewold’s mayor, Gerrit Jan Gorter, said on Tuesday evening that he was not aware of this lobby. Gorter also said that a massive barracks was never the mayor’s and alderman’s ambition. John and Gerda Meijer therefore hope that the Council of Zeewald will make an effort to keep the intended barracks area agricultural.
“Lifelong zombie fanatic. Hardcore web practitioner. Thinker. Music expert. Unapologetic pop culture scholar.”