Police facility Land Forum

The municipality of Eindhoven and the police want a large police facility at Land Forum. As far as is known now, they want to accommodate approximately 1,800 police officers from various departments, including the Mobile Unit, and daily 520 students from the Police Academy on the partly derelict site on the east side of Grasrijk. (The ‘Wijkinfo’ of December 2019 reported approx. 1,250 police officers.) A detention centre, a shooting range and a training center are also planned. The police facility has no public function. So there will be no police station for filing reports and the like.

In June 2021, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) gave the green light to realise the police facility. Residents in part of Grasrijk and Bosrijk received a ‘Wijkinfo‘ from the municipality that month. The municipal council has been informed by means of a Council information letter. The decision was taken against the advice of the sounding board and the Board of Residents’ Association Meerhoven. In April, both had called on the BMA to postpone the decision until the consequences for the neighbourhood had been thoroughly examined and the input of the neighbourhood had been seriously included in the investigation. Residents also called for this in large numbers. Nevertheless, the BMA made a decision because the police threatened to choose another city if the decision was further delayed.

(Read further below).

Oude Sliffertsestraat
Part of the decision is the relocation of the Oude Sliffertsestraat. The police want to be able to close off the the area hermetically. That is why the BMA has decided to move the Oude Sliffertsestraat to the outer side of the territory. Whether the road will be moved to the west side (parallel to the Nieuwe Sliffertsestraat) or the east side (parallel to the N2 and the canal), will be decided after broad consultation of the neighbourhood, according to the municipality.

The outcome of that consultation appears a self fulfilling prophecy. Alderman Torunoglu has announced that he will convince the neighbourhood of the western variant. The Wijkinfo of June 2021 seems to anticipate this by presenting the eastern variant as unattractively as possible (see below). In our opinion there are several other possible variants. However, the BMA has decided to limit itself to the two options below.

Western variant (left) and eastern variant (right). According to the municipality, these sketches only show the possible location of the road. The greenery and buildings (blue squares) are drawn randomly, says the municipality. Source: Wijkinfo municipality of Eindhoven, June 8, 2021.

Incidentally, the municipality already presented both variants to the neighbourhood in April 2021. A majority indicated that they were in favour of an alternative eastern variant. In the western variant, residents are concerned about an increase in noise pollution and a deterioration in air quality. In addition, the sounding board and the Board of Residents’ Association Meerhoven emphasized that the present location of the Oude Sliffertsestraat should also be given a serious chance. Earlier, the police considered the current location of this street to be an asset.

Access and high-rise buildings
The BMA has also decided to open the complex on the south side. An entrance is planned at the current T-junction Graslook- Oude Sliffertsestraat. An emergency exit for occasional use will be located in the north. The BMA has also decided to allow a ‘height accent’ with a maximum height of 45 metres (comparable with a building of approx. 15 floors) on thesouth side of the site.

To prevent employees and visitors of the police facility from parking in the neighbourhood, the BMA has decided to deviate from the municipal parking norm on Land Forum. This will allow for the construction of a large parking garage with a thousand spaces on site. The police themselves must prevent staff and visitors from parking in the residential area when the garage is full. According to the municipality, P+R Meerhoven can serve as an alternative at peak times.

As is well known, the sounding group and the Board of Residents’ Association Meerhoven are in principle positive about the arrival of a police facility as presented to the neighbourhood in late 2019 and early 2020. Since then, however, the police have been making more and more demands, including a doubling of the number of police staff and students, the ability to seal off the site hermetically and the relocation of the Old Sliffertsestraat. The municipality’s great willingness to meet all the police’s demands is in stark contrast to the way in which the municipality has so far dealt with residents’ input. The Board of Residents’ Association Meerhoven calls the decision of the municipality premature and is considering legal action.