“Something’s brewing over the south of Kirchseeon.” With this sentence begins a letter from the organization that is actually working to ensure that nothing is brewing in this area. However, the members of the “Protection of the South of Kirchseeon” association are concerned about the plans for the former railway sleeper site in the market town. The Hamburg project developer ECE Group recently acquired the approximately 17-hectare site on the southern outskirts of the town in order to build apartments and locate businesses there. For the community, this would mean an enormous growth spurt within a short period of time – a development that is viewed very critically by the protection association.
Many are not even aware of the scope of the project
“The topic hasn’t been thought through to the end,” fears at least the first chairman, Heinz-Jürgen Seip, who, together with his fellow campaigners, wants to sensitize the citizens of Kirchseeon, but also the political elected officials, to the large-scale project. Most of the situation and scope of the project are still completely unclear, according to the protection association. In fact, little is known about the further development of the railway sleeper site. The investor only said recently that a mixed use of residential and commercial use is sought. How exactly this can be implemented is to be worked out in several workshops together with the municipal councils.
An approach that Heinz-Jürgen Seipt sees critically, after all it is about nothing less than the future of the market town. “But all this is not discussed in public. I think to myself: well done!” says the chairman of the protection association, who wishes that the people of Kirchseeon would be more involved in the process. Especially since, according to Seipt, there are still many unanswered questions. For example, how the masses of earth are to be transported away through the site in the event of a possible development, where there are no suitable access routes to the site. “The trucks then all drive on the B304. That’s already the longest parking lot in Germany,” says Seipt.
At the same time, the construction of the northern inlet to the Brenner Pass could also be implemented
The chairman of the protection association also fears a possible conflict with another mega-project that will occupy the market community in the coming years: the northern access to the Brenner Pass. In order to direct train traffic from the new line to the existing tracks, the railways are planning a two-kilometer-long so-called overpass structure south-east of Kirchseeon. According to Seipt, this also requires numerous truck trips. “Where do they all want to go? The issue hasn’t been resolved,” says the club chairman, with a view to the large-scale measures that may be running at the same time on site.
As far as the new residential area on the railway sleeper site is concerned, there is disagreement even within the protection association, as Seipt admits. “Some don’t want it at all, some see opportunities in it.” For the latter, however, comprehensive planning is necessary, in which you have to keep an eye on all factors right from the start. Seipt speaks of a “holistic approach”. So that at least the Kirchseeon municipal councils are aware of this scope, the protection association has created a questionnaire with which the members want to get an impression of the mood of the committee.
Now the Kirchseeon municipal councils are in demand
In it, the local politicians should give their assessments of various topics, such as whether they believe that the community can really tolerate such strong and rapid growth or what opportunities they see in the project. The members of the protection association also want to know whether additional income from the trade tax will also benefit the citizens of Kirchseeon, whether additional infrastructure such as schools, kindergartens or doctors would be needed, or whether a bypass road might be built to handle the traffic .
Heinz-Jürgen Seipt and his colleagues are expecting answers to the three-page questionnaire by the end of June, when the next members’ meeting takes place. A few days later, the Kirchseeon municipal council will meet and take a fundamental decision on the subject of railway sleepers. No matter how this turns out, the protection association is already certain: “We will not give up our goal of a south worth living in.”
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