Feyenoord City is an ambitious construction project, including a new football stadium to replace De Kuip, nearly four thousand new homes and space for shops and catering. Due to resistance among some of the Rotterdammers, differences of opinion within Feyenoord itself and political struggles, the issue has dragged on for years.
There is still uncertainty about part of the financing of the project, which involves a total of about one and a half billion euros more, but things are moving forward again. In December, the city council approved the zoning plan by one vote. There will be a public consultation session with the city council next week. According to RTV Rijnmond, there are already more than six hundred registrations, while there is room for sixty people.
Buijsen is an advocate of Feyenoord City and says he played an important role in the early days of the project, including in bringing in the international architectural firm OMA. Now he is no longer involved in the performance. “Although it doesn’t seem to matter much, they’re right outside your door.”
A report was received on Saturday from a group of several dozen supporters who were visiting addresses, a police spokesperson confirmed. “We checked all those people, recorded their details and checked their cars. Torches have been found and confiscated. Then we sent them away.’ No arrests have been made.
Buijsen has already had to deal with intimidation. “I got involved in 2012, and since then I’ve served the police six times for reporting threats, intimidation, libel and defamation. They don’t hesitate.’
According to him, the police know about this and therefore quickly turn out if he makes a report. ‘That works. Within a minute of my report, there were twelve police cars and vans yesterday. They also closed the street and searched the cars of some of those guys.”
The police spokesperson confirms the number of cars and vans that responded to the report. ‘If you were to send two colleagues to thirty people, that wouldn’t be wise either. You want to be able to check everyone.’
On Saturday, the Feyenoord leadership placed a full-page advertisement in the AD Rotterdams Dagblad to underline that a new stadium is good for Feyenoord and for Rotterdam as far as Feyenoord is concerned. Buijsen suspects that that advertisement was the reason for supporters who are against the plans to visit houses. He fears that the consultation moments could again lead to intimidation, or worse.
The police are monitoring the ‘sentiment surrounding the issue’, the spokesman said. ‘You see more banners about this in the stadium. If public order or people’s safety is endangered, we will of course intervene.’