Rudie from Kropswolde manages a marina that officially does not exist

Problems for the marina at Paviljoen De Rietzoom in Kropswolde. Due to a ruling by the Council of State, the port officially no longer exists.

“Looking for the marina? That doesn’t exist!” The voice of Rudie Berg (61) from Kropswolde booms over the water. Berg manages the marina at Paviljoen De Rietzoom on the Zuidlaardermeer. He laughs, but in the meantime he is quite sick of the situation.

New plans

What is going on? The Smurf Village is located next to the marina. The bungalow park is actually called De Leine, but because of the blue houses it was nicknamed: Smurf Village.

It is officially a bungalow park, but many people live there permanently. They have been arguing with the municipality for years about whether their park should become a residential area or remain a holiday park.

In 2022, the municipality of Midden-Groningen corrected an old zoning plan for the Zuidlaardermeer area. In such a plan, the municipality writes what is and is not allowed in certain areas. In the old version, the municipality had forgotten to register the marina.

Residents of the Smurf Village used this correction to file a case with the Council of State. They wanted the municipality to look at the entire area and also take their interests into account. A residential area right next to a marina is not permitted in the Netherlands due to noise standards. “This drawing may have consequences for future decisions about our park,” said the then chairman of the residents’ association, Bert de Bey.

Haven does not officially exist

The RVS ruled in the case on Wednesday. In short: the municipality should not have simply included the marina on the map. And that is why the port does not officially exist. The municipality of Midden-Groningen must improve things within four weeks. “I am confident that the municipality will solve this,” says Rudie Berg.

Meanwhile he is angry. The RVS’s ruling is the next chapter in the soap opera around the Zuidlaardermeer area. Together with his brother Andries, he owns the marina and Pavilion De Rietzoom next to it. He strides into the pavilion and plucks a photo from the wall. “This is Jacob van der Schuur. He started the marina.”

According to legend, Van der Schuur dug out the harbor himself with a shovel. Berg: “And that really happened!” He has been there for about forty years, he estimates.

‘Not the intention’

“We don’t want to make it difficult for entrepreneurs,” says Anda de Vries. She is the new president of the residents’ association of the Smurf Village. The residents mainly hoped to benefit from the lawsuit themselves. She acknowledges that this could pose a risk to the lake’s business owners. “Beats. This was not the intention.”