Muiden Chemie (Kollumerwaard)
When the Lauwerszee, an old sea arm, was dammed in the 1960ties
a lot of new land came available. This area is now used for agriculture
and nature reserve.
Muiden Chemie, producer of ammunition, was looking for a new place
to build a factory. As the Kollumerwaard is sparsely populated this
was an ideal location. However production had barely started (or
not at all yet, I'm not quite sure) when Muiden Chemie went bankrupt
from an illegal delivery to Iran scandal. The site was used for
storage for while, but now it is completely abandoned.
After the fireworks disaster in Enschede (see Abandoned:
Roombeek) the government made the rules for professional fireworks
companies extremely stringent. So stringent that a lot of companies
cannot meet these norms and have to move to a different location
or stop their business completely. For these companies the government
went looking for fireworks concentration areas where these companies
can continue their business "safely".
Of course one of the proposed locations is this former gunpowder
factory. The licenses for explosives seem to be still valid, meaning
little bureaucratic trouble and the initial reasons for planning
a gunpowder factory here are still valid too.
There has been only little protest against this. Locals are worried
about transport dangers and nature organizations have pointed out
that it is right next to the Lauwersmeer nature reserve, a National
Park to be established. It is however one of the most ideal locations
in the Netherlands and people seem to hope for more employment which
the region needs.
This story can be found easily on most news sites (and google).
The NOS has a nice movie with there news item, which can be found
7 December 2002
This place had been on my wishlist for a visit for some time. It
is close to the village I was born and as far as I know the only
abandoned explorable place in the region. To my surprise my sister
wanted to come along, she's trainee photographer for a newspaper
and expected there might be some "photogenic" pictures
to be shot.