Back to Square One

Before you jump up and down, and shoot fireworks, please cancel the show and call off the dancing girls.

We’re back to square one.

The verdict in the case involving the upcoming development on Palm Beach was a kort geding decision, given in a short procedure, so the judge only looked at ONE issue, if there was any urgency here, as Meta Corp stated, for MinInfra and DIP to move their you-know-whats and release the terrain, so Meta Corp could build a movie-plex before 2018, when their lease at Paseo Herencia expires.

The judge said, no, no urgency. Too bad for Meta Corp, but that is just a business risk, they should be able to take. And if the MinInfra and DIP have reservations whether or not Meta Corp complied with all building requisitions, they should be allowed to hold on to them.

So the whole shebang is now at the hand of the MinInfra and his dippy people; GOA doesn’t need to rush into any decisions, they can continue to stall!

What my friends say: GOA simply didn’t want to grant Meta Corp the terrain. It’s all political. The option was give in a different time, by an opposition minister, now running for office with a competing party, and GOA just doesn’t feel like granting it. The area is already congested and densely exploited, and another massive development of a parking garage, and two movie floors – the theaters require a high ceiling — would not have made a big difference. The land is defined as greenland not wetland, which means the MinInfra could allow development, if he so desired, because only wetlands are “niet ontvankelijk,” undevelopable, and he can make an exception for greenland.

Just a reminder, land is “niet ontvankelijk” if of archaeological value, i.e. Malmok.

The judge did not rule on the poor birds or stressed bees. In order to address the core issue of conservation a regular procedure must be filed, bodemprocedure, just the way it was done for the Bubali Project.

And, please remember the court does not have a wide margin of discretion in these cases, it may just decide if granting the land for development is in accordance with ROP, RUIMTELIJK ONTWIKKELINGSPLAN, the area development plan, which is the bible to go by. And if ROP is inadequate or outdated, it’s still the law, and still the bible.

So the verdict just means that Meta Corp cannot force GOA to move, but when GOA is ready, perhaps tomorrow, Meta Corp still has an option. And GOA did not nix Meta Corp’s construction plans, not yet anyway. GOA THINKS that not all criteria have been met. But we do not know for sure.

So yes, it will be the minister’s decision, and the arguments of bird life are for the birds, because they were not even heard.