Neighborhood Committee Huizen continues to fight against housing units for Ukrainian refugees: “Uncovering the truth”

The residents of Enkhuizerzand in Huizen find the thirty residential units that are now almost literally on their doorstep very hideous. In mid-February, the sixty Ukrainian refugees will transfer from the Bovenmaatweg to their new temporary shelter. But the last word has not yet been said about how this shelter in a green part of Huizen came about. “We are going to uncover the truth. Many have been fooled,” said members of the neighborhood committee ‘Save our Ellertsveld neighborhood park’.

Photo: NH Media

Thursday, July 6, is well etched in the memories of the residents of the Ellertsveld. That is the day when the municipal announcement came out of the blue for them that the area of ​​green between the houses on the Enkhuizerzand and the De Wijngaard primary school will become the new, temporary place for the Ukrainian refugees. This concerns the group that still has accommodation at Bovenmaatweg 333. But they have to leave because the owner now really wants to turn it into care homes for seniors.


No consultation. No participation. No advance notice. Residents felt overwhelmed by the mayor and aldermen, who designated this location. No one in the neighborhood is against receiving refugees. Local residents are certainly not concerned about the vulnerable group of Ukrainians who have been living just further in the neighborhood since March last year. No, they find the municipality’s actions objectionable and want to know on the basis of which information the choice was made for their neighborhood park.

“No attention has been paid to the value of the park nor to the residents”

Delegation of neighborhood committee Save our Ellerstveld neighborhood park

“The important thing is that we can understand the arguments. In their choice, no attention was paid to the value of the neighborhood park and there was no attention at all for the residents,” a delegation from the neighborhood committee told NH.


And they don’t understand it. The residents cannot follow much of what happens. Take the most recent: the group’s subsequent move. Precisely because everything was done in an emergency procedure, which meant that objection procedures were shortened and emergency felling permits were issued, the planning resembled a strict military operation. Now that a lot of rainwater is causing problems and Liander cannot install the electricity until the end of January, an extra six weeks are no problem at all.

There are now several objections at the offices of the Huizer town hall. According to the municipality, there are four objections, most of which have been signed by several local residents. Two have been submitted against the permit for the building plan, one against the granted felling permit and another against the decision on the application for the Open Government Act (Woo).

Are missing

Because as mentioned, several local residents are not willing to let it go. In addition to a signature campaign, speaking to the committee and a delegation to the sounding board group, the neighborhood committee has now requested all underlying documents via three Woo requests. But in the opinion of local residents, the necessary pieces are missing.

“Tergooi was the only option for a long time. A draft rental contract was already ready with Rosewoord, the owner of the site.”

Delegation of neighborhood committee Save our Ellerstveld neighborhood park

In the municipality’s long search, the old Tergooi hospital in Blaricum was the preferred location for this Ukrainian group for a long time. “That was the only option for a long time. There was a draft lease agreement ready with Rosewood, the owner of the Tergooi site,” local residents say from the hundreds of papers they received.

Not knowing about it

And suddenly things changed at the end of June and their neighborhood park was the location. Any form of explanation is missing in the documents they received. That led to a new Woo request. “Things have happened here that we are not aware of,” local residents say. “We ask for the documents but we do not receive them. Be transparent about it instead of piling untruth upon untruth,” it said.

The neighborhood understands that there are wishes from the vulnerable group of Ukrainians. They want to stay together, want to continue living in the neighborhood where they are now attached, where they also receive their care and where they go to church on Sundays. That made Huizen’s assignment so difficult to find a suitable location for these sixty people.

Huizen: ‘Have communicated intensively with residents’

After that 6th of July in question, the municipality said it ‘communicated intensively’ with the neighborhood around the Ellerstveld. A small summary shows that approximately seven hundred information letters were sent in which local residents could make suggestions about the planning process, a project manager was appointed who made individual agreements and a page with questions and answers was placed on the municipal website.

The Ellertsveld sounding board group was established at the initiative of Mayor Niek Meijer. The starting point is to share information about the progress of the project, with the realization taking into account the wishes of local residents as much as possible. About twenty people from the neighborhood have signed up for this group, which has been meeting twice a month since September.


There were quite a few wrinkles that had to be ironed out in the beginning. “The consultation varies in atmosphere and that is understandable,” the municipality responds to questions from NH. “The council was forced to make this decision in order to continue to provide shelter. The sounding board group also endorses the need for shelter, but part of the group considers it undesirable to place the residential units on the Ellertsveld. Occasionally, strong words were exchanged but always with respect for each other,” the addition reads.

The sessions with the sounding board group have been useful, according to the municipality. The constructive thinking has led to a better plan. Examples of this are the different layout of the units, the new access to the site, parking is arranged on the site, a different place for the transformer house that has yet to be installed, an improved crossing for cyclists and pedestrians at the Enkhuizerzand-De Drost intersection and completely visually shielding the telephone mast. And there seems to be more in store.

But the municipality could have opted for other and more logical options, the residents believe. For example, a building on the Gooierserf was available for rent for a long time. Expansion was possible there with residential units. And of course they mention the Vista. There is plenty of room there and it is not very far away. To the disappointment of the neighborhood committee, Huizen did not want to listen to their suggestions.

Harsh words

The recreation park, as local residents call the residential units together, is now as good as finished. The residents therefore had no say in the arrival of these units. They were, however, allowed to participate in discussions about its design in the sounding board group, after harsh words were spoken in the first sessions.

According to the neighborhood committee, these discussions have led to a slightly different layout of the units, but it was mainly about the greenery. “The gardener’s first comment when he came here was: Why are you building this in the middle of a residential area?”, the members of the neighborhood committee say with a shrug.

Glass sphere

By law, the residential units may remain on the Ellertsveld for a maximum of ten years. That’s for sure. But there has also been a lot of (political) wrangling about the duration. Initially, the houses would be there for three years, with perhaps an extension to five. But everything depends on how long the war in Ukraine lasts. As soon as it is safe to return, the refugees should go.

But no one in Huizen has a crystal ball either, so it could easily take seven years or longer. It is clear that the current permit has a maximum duration of five years and that the municipal council will carry out a thorough evaluation after a maximum of five years, after first gauging the opinions of local residents.

Bottom stone

In any case, local residents remain combative. They are still waiting for more documents of their Woo request and will do everything they can to get to the bottom of the matter. The objections committee will consider the objections submitted at the beginning of February. That is a new step in the process of uncovering the truth.