Wassenaar: Ivicktion called off—but for how long?

Wassenaar (Netherlands) – On the 24th of May, Ivicke had a second “voorlopige voorziening” (VoVo)* hearing, to request a suspension of eviction until the higher appeal in our case against the municipality, who want to evict us on the grounds that according to the zoning plan our home should be an office.

We already had a first VoVo about this in February. That one we lost, but the judge gave us until the 28th of May before we had to leave. In the meantime, we actually won a civil court case against the owner, because the judge agreed that his plans for Ivicke are nonsense. Our lawyers then managed to get this new hearing because of that change of circumstances.

In the documents they submitted for this case, the municipality revealed that they already had the whole eviction planned for the 31st of May, coordinated with the cops and everything. With the added threat that, if they can’t evict then, the cops wouldn’t have time anymore before September because of the festival season, trying to pressure the judge into a fast ruling. Luckily, the judge started the case by making clear that they can get an eviction on the 31st out of their heads: he needs time for his decision, and he also recognises that we will need time to move if it’s negative. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Villa Ivicke eviction in 3 months – Let’s use this time well!

Wassenaar (Netherlands) – On Monday, we received the verdict in the interim measure court case against the notorious real estate speculator and owner of Ivicke, Ronnie van de Putte aka the Slum Lord, and the municipality of Wassenaar.

The judge denied our request to postpone our eviction until we’ve had a chance to appeal against the ruling of December’s court case. Despite claiming to recognize our interest in having a roof over our heads, and the lack of urgency of both the owner and the municipality to evict, the judge decided we have to leave Ivicke in 3 months.

This verdict is totally contradictory, and justified with reference to bullshit “theoretical” assumptions about the owner and municipality’s interests and intentions. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Possible Ivicke Eviction Within Two Weeks

Update on the hearing of the Provisional Ruling – 15 February 2022

Wassenaar (Netherlands) – Today, there was a hearing at the Raad van State in The Hague, which will decide the future of Huize Ivicke. The villa in Wassenaar that has been squatted for three and a half years is threatened with eviction because the building is officially designated as an office. In a court case on December 20th, the administrative judge in The Hague decided that vacancy was more appropriate than occupation, to which the residents have filed an appeal. To prevent an eviction before the date of the higher appeal, they have applied for a so-called preliminary injunction. This request was heard today by the Raad van State. The lawsuit is between the residents of Ivicke and the municipality of Wassenaar, with the latter wanting an immediate end of the occupation in violation of the zoning plan.

During the ruling on December 20th, the judge hardly considered the interests of the residents. In administrative law it has long been customary that little attention is paid to interests and results of decisions, but rather to the legal aspects of a case. As a result of the “toeslagenaffaire,” however, the Raad van State realised last year that the concrete consequences of their decisions are also somewhat important. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Court Orders Our Ivicktion

Wassenaar (Netherlands) – On Monday Dec 20, Rechtbank Den Haag ruled we must leave Ivicke within six weeks.

We aren’t surprised by this verdict in the owner’s favor, and we won’t just accept it quietly.

The court’s argumentation is that our residency here is in violation of the building’s zoning plan, which designates its use as an office. The judge said he “understands the currently difficult housing market” —does he, really!?—and yet decides to evict for emptiness.

Eviction for emptiness, yes: because there are no concrete plans for Ivicke’s future use. No permits, no costings, no drawings, only Ronnie van de Putte’s word that he wants to use it as an office for his company’s only employee.

This is enough for the judge to claim “ there are no grounds for concluding that the national monument will once again be vacant once the occupants have left.” [Read More]

Wassenaar: Bats at Ivicke

Potential Roost Destroyed And Building In Danger After Municipality Of Wassenaar Ignores Directive To Stop All Works.
The municipality of Wassenaar removed Ivicke’s gutter despite an Omgevingsdienst Zuid-Holland directive to stop all works on the building immediately due to the suspected presence of bats. The removal of the gutter also did not accord with the municipality’s own work plan, meaning Ivicke is now at serious risk of water damage.

On Tuesday 24 November, Omgevingsdienst (OD) Zuid-Holland ordered the municipality of Wassenaar to stop the works on Ivicke because of the strong possibility of bats roosting in and around the building. The municipality hasn’t conducted any assessment on this, or sought permits for the work in general, even though this is precisely why the owner, Ronnie van de Putte, was prevented from carrying out works on the building several months ago. The workers left the site early on Tuesday 24 and weren’t here on Wednesday 25, pending the results of the OD’s investigation.

(At this stage of the municipality’s works (4 weeks in), there’s scaffolding all around the building, more or less at the height of the now-removed gutter, but it’s not yet fully erect. Before the works stopped, the scaffolding was due to be completed by November 30, according to the plan submitted to us by the architect of the project.) [Read More]

Wassenaar: Municipality Wants To Ivickt Us Without A Court Hearing Or A Plan

The mayor and executive board (B&W) of Wassenaar rejected our request to suspend our eviction from Ivicke until at least six weeks after a court has ruled on the case.

After almost two and a half years of our residency at Ivicke during which we have cooperated to ensure the municipality can start essential repairs to the building, the B&W demands we leave without exercising our right to represent our interests in front of a judge, nor with a plan in place for Ivicke’s future use. The B&W says a postponement would neither serve the interests of the owner or the public, though it offers no explanation behind this assertion nor an opinion on our interests as Ivicke’s current residents.

Let’s be clear. The B&W’s eviction order has nothing to do with Ivicke’s repair works. At least, legally speaking. The municipality’s contractors are currently preparing the terrain. Our presence here doesn’t prevent the works from happening. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Villa Ivicke, news from the last six months

Zoning plan, construction works, court proceedings.

A lot has happened in the past six months. In April, the owner started a lawsuit to evict us. And in May, the municipality of Wassenaar imposed an administrative order on both the owner Ronnie van de Putte and us as residents. With this administrative order, the municipality wants to put pressure on the owner to carry out construction works, and on us to leave the building; the latter on the grounds that Ivicke’s zoning plan is not “housing” but “office”.

As the residents of Ivicke, we have filed an appeal against the enforcement of the zoning plan, the hearing was supposed to take place on the 16th of September. However, the case was referred to court, wherefore the hearing was cancelled. We are now waiting for a date for this hearing. In the administrative order, the municipality has marked November 19 as our leaving date. Be that as it may, it is already clear that there won’t be a ruling in this case before said date, but this doesn’t mean that the municipality cannot evict us. For this reason, we have submitted a request to the municipality to suspend the enforcement of the administrative order until the court has ruled whether such enforcement is lawful. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Ivicke’s Zoning Plan, a Monumental Fuck Up

Enforcement of a zoning plan would suggest there is a plan. There isn’t.

The municipality of Wassenaar has decided to pursue our eviction from Huize Ivicke on the basis of the building’s zoning plan which designates its function as an office, not a residence.

Their reasoning for the decision appears to be that ‘Kantoor Ivicke’ must become ‘uninhabited’ once again in order to be ‘presentable.’ Strange, since we all seem to recall that Ivicke being uninhabited is what led to it becoming unpresentable in the first place.

The fact that it is a house, that it has largely been used as a house, that anti-squat guardians lived at Ivicke for several years under the current owner’s watch, and that many thousands of people are living “illegally” in non-residential (and often state-owned) buildings as anti-squat guardians across the country is apparently irrelevant.

The normalization of actual offices and other business premises as anti-squat housing – operating in a ‘legal grey zone’ – demonstrates that Ivicke’s designation as an office is incidental; a handy bureaucratic tool the municipality can choose to use or disregard, depending on their interests at any given time. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Ivicke Sales Seizure, First Step To Expropriation?

The municipality of Wassenaar is going to court to annul the recent sales of Ivicke by the owner, Ronnie van de Putte, to two of his newly-established companies.

Van de Putte is currently subject to an administrative order from the municipality of Wassenaar to carry out restoration works on Ivicke by July 20. Otherwise, the municipality intends to carry out the work itself and send him the bill.

Thing is though, this bill could quickly add up. And van de Putte isn’t known for paying his debts.

Ivicke’s restoration costs are thought to be around 500,000 euros but this can (and probably will) shoot up once the works begin. Especially since there has not yet been a full architectural assessment.

Kees Wassenaar, the city’s alderman for spatial planning, said the dispute over Ivicke has already cost Wassenaar hundreds of thousands of euros. A spokesperson for the municipality did not want to give an exact overall figure, but the city has incurred around 40,000 in legal costs alone.

These spiraling costs are what led the municipality of Wassenaar to ask the province of Zuid-Holland for help. In response, Zuid-Holland pledged a maximum of 500,000 euros from its monument restoration fund for 2020. We stand against this abuse of public funds for a project that does not meet the criteria set by Zuid-Holland’s own monument restoration policy, where there is no guarantee the money could be recouped, and which does not guard against a new cycle of neglect and decay. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Report on Ivicke’s ‘Emergency Repairs’

In January, following the court ruling stating that the owner must comply with the municipality’s order to carry out emergency repairs, a contractor began the works on Ivicke.

At the request of members of two monument protection organisations, we sent a report (below) to the municipality, with details about how the repairs were carried out. We didn’t receive a response. Instead, municipal officials announced they would inspect the building. We agreed to this and showed the inspectors and the contractor around, pointing out the issues we’d already raised in the letter. The officials barely engaged with us, and merely went around with a clipboard and ticked off boxes. The conclusion of the municipality was that the owner fulfilled the obligation to do emergency repairs. Yay! Win-win for the municipality, who successfully enforced their administrative order, and for the owner, who can keep them off his back (for now). [Read More]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke, Restoration Through Expropriation

Instead of unconditionally gifting half a million euros of public money to Van de Putte’s property portfolio, Ivicke must be expropriated before it can be restored. Only then is its future secure.

The province of South-Holland pledged to pay 500,000 euros for Huize Ivicke’s restoration if the municipality of Wassenaar is unable to recover the costs from the owner, Ronnie van de Putte.

This amounts to yet another handout of public money to a parasitic financial firm.

The move comes after the municipality of Wassenaar placed an administrative order on van de Putte last November which supposedly compels him to complete Ivicke’s restoration by July, 2020. Van de Putte contested this order in court, but lost.

In the event that van de Putte does not comply with the administrative order, the municipality of Wassenaar said they will arrange for Ivicke’s restoration and send him the bill. A spokesperson for the municipality of Wassenaar described this scenario as “unlikely,” but past experience tells us otherwise. Ask Amsterdam, Sluis, Noordwijk, or Leiden. [Read More]

Wassenaar: Huize Ivicke, One Night With The VVD

Late last year, VVD Wassenaar organized a ‘political cafe’ on the topic of Ivicke and squatting. The event, with little sense of irony, was called ‘Kraken of Actie?’ In three words, VVD Wassenaar disregarded one and a half years of direct action to reverse the decline of a national monument, whilst presenting their party, who sat idly by until it was squatted, as the saviours of Ivicke. Can’t deny their skills as politicians.

Two of the three invited speakers were VVD politicians. Strangely enough, we were not the third invitee. The first speaker, Daniel Koerhuis, has energetically taken on the role of the latest squatter-basher in parliament for the VVD as its housing spokesperson. [Read More]