At the end of 2005 the neighbors of Rustenburgerstraat 438/440 were informed of the demolition and rebuilding of the school that stood there, they were informed after the deadline date for objections against the demolition and just a few days before the objection deadline for the new building permits would expire. The existing school building would be demolished, and a larger one would be built in its place.
Within a few days the plans for the demolishing were under way, and as well as the building being demolished, the large trees (by Am*dam standards) would have been cut down. Furthermore the new school building would place our neighbors gardens and homes in complete shadow. Which shows that no consideration was taken for the neighbors with these building plans, which is probably why they were only announced at such a late date.
The building plans also exceeded the allowed height for building facades in the neighborhood, and had windows looking straight into peoples homes. They also planned to build a huge gym in the basement, open to the public in the evenings at the usual exploitative gym prices. The building was about to start. there had been formal complaints from renters and groups busy with the image of the cities buildings, but they carried little or no weight, as they were filed after the objection date deadline.
Resistance in the neighborhood.
However, a number of alert neighbors got together and decided to apply for monumental status for the trees, and it was granted. This stopped the demolition plans from beginning just in the nick of time. With this pause before the demolition the hight of the building was also challenged, and the plans were refused. The school was left empty for one year, and there was no new building plans proposed.
The leaked squatting.
Of course the Am*dam squatters were then planning to squat the school ( in the Netherlands, if you squat something which has not been empty for 12 months, the owner does not have to start a court case against you, but the city will evict you without a court case, under article 429). Just as the squatters were about to squat the school, security were placed at the school, and it was demolished a few days later.
The police turned up for the demolition in great numbers, accompanied by their helicopter. When concerned neighbors (some of which had filed the successful complaints against the building plans of the new school) ran quickly to the scene, the were treated in an aggressive manner by the police. Even a camera was grabbed out of a neighbors hands, as he attempted to take photos of the demolition. After this Groenlinks (the greenleft party) asked questions in a city meeting about the demolition. The answer was that they had heard there were plans to squat the school, so it was demolished, but the monumental trees were left standing
After yet another two years of being a bare sandy lot, on July 11th 2008 we “swomped” the ground.There is no concrete plan, actually no suggested building plans. have even been handed in. Now almost a year after squatting, they still haven’t applied for a building permit.