The Senate wants the cabinet to stop the construction of the controversial mega data center of Meta (parent company Facebook) in Zeewolde. A motion to that effect was passed by a majority of votes.
In the motion, submitted by PvdD MP Koffeman, the cabinet is asked to ensure that the zoning plan that enables the construction of the data center cannot be implemented. First, the government must make clear what it wants with these types of mega data centers. Such a vision has so far been lacking.
CDA and VVD voted against, the rest were in favour. The Netherlands cannot do without data centers, but Meta’s is so large and requires such a lot of energy that many political parties do not like the arrival.
An ultimate call
Various MPs expressed their support in advance in explanations of vote, but also had doubts about the legal robustness of the text of the motion. For example, the text of the motion gave the SGP “slight headaches”. Still, the party sees it as an “ultimate call” to the minister to “use every little goat path”.
The PvdA and GroenLinks gave the motion “the benefit of the doubt”, the parties see it as a “call to buy time”. D66 sees the motion as support for the minister to take “all legal avenues” available to stop the arrival.
A spokesman for Minister De Jonge for Housing and Spatial Planning says that it is not yet clear whether today’s motion can be involved in the trial in Zeewolde. Furthermore, it is again emphasized that the case “is not a runaway race”.
Much depends on what happens to land that is still owned by the Central Government Real Estate Agency. Without that ground, the data center cannot be built. The minister will discuss this with the municipality. It is unknown when this will become clear.
Last Friday it turned out that the arrival of the data center had already become very uncertain; Minister De Jong said he wanted to get rid of it. In addition, the party that is against (Leefbaar Zeewolde) has won a majority in the municipal elections. However, construction is not yet complete.
Leefbaar Zeewolde wants to do everything it can to stop construction. Party chairman Tom Zonneveld sees the vote in the Senate as an extra boost.
In mid-February it became clear that the cabinet is upset with the hyperscalers. These are very large data centers with almost always a tech company as the only user. In a decision, Minister De Jonge announced a temporary stop to granting new permits for this type.