Nachrichten werden geladen...

Tesla expansion in Grünheide: municipality looks for solutions

The Tesla factory in Grünheide / Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa
The Tesla factory in Grünheide / Photo: Christophe Gateau/dpa

Following the rejection of the development plan for the Tesla expansion in Grünheide, the municipality is looking for solutions. Communication and timetable as decisive factors.

After the clear vote by Grünheide residents against the development plan and Tesla's associated expansion plans, the municipality is now looking for possible solutions. However, the development plan will not be a topic at the next municipal council meeting for the time being. For the mayor and the chairwoman of the municipal council, the no vote in the referendum is a clear indication of the mood. The development plan will no longer be put to the vote in its current form.

Searching for a solution is a priority for the municipality

For Grünheide Mayor Arne Christiani, the focus is now on finding a way out of the conflict. "Now we have to look for solutions that take into account the interests of the community, but also the concerns of the residents," he told the German Press Agency on Thursday. That will take time. The topic will not be on the agenda at the next meeting of municipal representatives on 14 March because the main committee will not be dealing with it on that Thursday either, as stipulated in the rules of procedure.

"The clarity of the result speaks for itself. I don't think any municipal representative will oppose this vote," Pamela Eichmann (SPD), Chairwoman of the Grünheide municipal council, told dpa. "In the form in which the development plan is now available, it will therefore not be put to the vote." Possible solutions would now have to be worked out by Tesla and the administration.

Tesla's expansion plans for the car factory were rejected by the majority of citizens in Grünheide. Almost two thirds voted against the plans on Tuesday. The municipal council still has to approve the development plan.

Community association head criticizes communication

For the chairman of the Grünheide community association, Michael Burg, the inadequate communication from Tesla and Mayor Christiani was decisive for the outcome of the vote. The CDU politician said that the citizens had not been sufficiently involved on both sides. "Now a win-win situation" must be created - away from the problem and into finding a solution, he recommended. After all, around 35 percent had also voted in favor of Tesla's plans for expansion, Burg pointed out. Following the no vote in the public consultation in Grünheide near Berlin, the e-car manufacturer remains committed to expanding the factory site in principle, but is relying on cooperation.

"We remain convinced that the logistical optimization of the factory is a great benefit for the community. We will coordinate further steps with all those involved based on the feedback we have received in recent weeks," said Tesla.

The electric car manufacturer wants to build a freight depot, warehouses and a company kindergarten next to the existing 300-hectare factory site. More than 100 hectares of forest are to be cleared for this. Conservationists and citizens' initiatives are among those opposing the expansion. Tesla sees advantages for the region if the development plan is finally approved. Freight traffic could be relieved with the factory station. It is also about more delivery security with storage areas.

For Grünheide, it is about infrastructure projects

The citizens' "no" to deforestation in the landscape conservation area and the voter turnout of over 70 percent is a "good indication" to the municipal representatives, said the non-party Grünheide mayor. Solutions must now be sought promptly in order to meet the ambitious schedule for infrastructure measures such as the station forecourt by mid-December 2026. The development plan not only includes industrial areas for Tesla, but also the area in front of the new citizens' station in Fangschleuse.

For the chairwoman of the municipal council, Eichmann, the most important point of discussion is also the transfer of truck traffic to rail - to relieve citizens of delivery traffic and reduce emissions. Solutions must be found that fit into a development plan, said Mayor Christiani, who did not rule out special meetings.

Opponents of the Tesla expansion call for a vote

Citizens' initiatives such as Wassertafel Berlin-Brandenburg, on the other hand, are insisting that the municipal representatives should vote on the development plan at the meeting on March 14 and not postpone the decision to a "more favorable" time after local and state elections. There must be an end to haggling, special arrangements and side agreements in Grünheide.

Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved

🤖 Die Übersetzungen werden mithilfe von KI automatisiert. Wir freuen uns über Ihr Feedback und Ihre Hilfe bei der Verbesserung unseres mehrsprachigen Dienstes. Schreiben Sie uns an: language@diesachsen.com. 🤖