The Minister of Economic Affairs and the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, The Netherlands, have made a provisional decision on the new high‑voltage link between Zoetermeer/Bleiswijk and Beverwijk, the so‑called ‘North Ring’ of the Randstad 380-kV project. The decision is another step towards realization of this major new electricity connection. In their decision, the two ministers indicate that recent developments concerning the cable route are to be retained. In order to inform local residents as thoroughly as possible, four additional information evenings will be organized for local residents and other interested parties in late November and early December.
In December 2008 the Minister of Economic Affairs and the Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment informed the Lower House of Parliament about the proposed cable route. Since then, the route has undergone further optimization. The ministers are currently preparing a so‑called National Integration Plan, a type of zoning plan at the national government level. Pending completion of this plan, a provisional decision has now been taken. This decision defines the area for which the National Integration Plan is to be prepared.
In the larger part of the area concerned, a 200‑m wide zone is to be reserved for the electricity connection. Local authorities that receive an application for a construction or installation permit within this zone must put the application process on hold. If it turns out that the construction plan is in conformity with the National Integration Plan currently being prepared, the application can be taken into consideration. Any application that does not conform to the National Integration Plan must be put on hold until the Plan has entered into force.
The Ministers consider it important to continue informing interested parties as thoroughly as possible. That is why four additional information evenings will be organized in the near future. Staff from the government authorities concerned and from TenneT will be present to answer any questions on the various issues, the procedures that will be followed, and the proposed route of the cable. As no official decision has been made as of yet, no comments can be submitted under the public consultation procedure. An official draft decision (i.e. the National Integration Plan) is expected to be announced in the course of 2010, at which time any interested parties can submit comments.
The new Randstad 380-kV connection is being constructed to ensure sufficient capacity for electricity transmissions in the future. This will help safeguard the security and continuity of the Dutch energy supply. The connection, which is to be constructed by electricity transmission operator TenneT, comprises two sections: one between Beverwijk and Zoetermeer (North Ring), and one between Zoetermeer (Bleiswijk) and Wateringen (South Ring).