MLP Business Park
Niederrhein-Schwalmtal

Not far from the Dutch border – in the heart of Europe – the MLP Business Park Niederrhein-Schwalmtal will be built. The modern business park arises on the 125,000 m² industrial site of the Rösler-Draht AG company on Dülkener Straße / Heerstraße / Eickener Straße.

It offers 60,000 m² of total usable space, distributed over two halls. Flexibly divisible rental units starting at 150 m² provide space for up to 15 tenants.

With an innovative concept for a broad mix of users and high-quality architecture, MLP and the municipality of Schwalmtal aim to offer an optimal solution for the subsequent use of the Rösler Draht industrial site.

60,000 m²

Total area

150 m²

Area divisible from

mid-2024

Expected start of use

Specifications

  • Impressive concept
  • Geared to the requirements of a broad user mix
  • Special attention to small and medium-sized enterprises
  • High-quality architecture and equipment
  • Sustainable building concept, goal: holistic CO₂ reduction over the entire life cycle
  • 60,000 m² of usable space
  • Up to 15 individual rental units
  • Rental units flexibly divisible from 150 m²
  • Attractive office and social areas
  • E-charging stations for bicycles, green outdoor areas as "meeting zones" and pond with seating for resident employees

Plan & Layout

Renderings

Fact check

There are already a large number of assertions about the MLP Business Park Niederrhein-Schwalmtal, which lead to a distorted picture of the project. The fact check counteracts this and uncovers misinformation and rumors.
Assertions Facts
The issues recorded in the project-related development plan are only empty words

The project-related development plan is to be regarded as a special form of development plan, which is always applied when a precisely planned construction project is to be implemented by an investor. It consists of three components: project plan, development plan and implementation agreement.
While the project plan must be agreed between the developer and the municipality, the actual development plan is the basis for the subsequent building permit. Everything that cannot be regulated there is contractually agreed in the implementation agreement, which is concluded between the developer and the municipality. These additional agreements can, for example, determine the timing of the project, the design of the building or restrictions on the daily traffic volume such as permitting only a certain number of vehicle or truck movements.

Planned removal of contaminated soil: pollutants will be left in the soil close to the site

The remediation measures comply with the legal requirements and are carried out according to the specifications of the soil protection authority. The procedure is standard in North Rhine-Westphalia as well as in Germany.
Complete removal of the contamination is neither economically feasible nor legally enforceable.
Without the settlement of MLP, only comparable or less comprehensive measures would be carried out. The costs would presumably have to be borne predominantly or entirely by the public sector.

Endangering groundwater quality

The remediation measures prevent pollutants from entering the groundwater.
In addition, the groundwater is subsequently monitored.Impacts from open-cast lignite mining are not expected.

24/7 use (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

24/7 use is possible in any industrial estate. However, use at night and on weekends is subordinate. This is also bindingly regulated in the implementation agreement.

Persistent disturbance of night's rest between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (including Sundays and holidays)

The business park complies with the noise guide values (also at night). There is no significant increase in noise on the surrounding roads.

Increasing noise level, multiplication of emissions and particulate matter pollution

The increase in traffic due to the planning is less than 20% on the northern bypass and southern bypass, and less than 10% in the highly congested sections. According to the results of the expert opinions, the planning does not result in a relevant increase in noise.
A multiplication of exhaust gases and particulate matter pollution is also not to be expected.

Noise and emissions also at night (one vehicle every 30 seconds on average)

The largest increase in traffic occurs on the northern bypass with 570 vehicles/24h (cars and trucks).
With a 10% night-time share, this corresponds to 57 vehicles per 8 hours, which in turn corresponds to 7 vehicles per hour at night. This means that there is an additional vehicle every 8 minutes.

Light pollution caused by headlights from an infinite chain of vehicles

There is no infinite chain of vehicles, as there is no significant increase compared to the existing traffic.

Up to 1,500 additional truck movements per day

A maximum of 1,352 vehicle journeys (sum of arrival and departure) are permitted, consisting of:
• 752 car journeys
• 200 van journeys up to 3.5 t
• 200 truck journeys over 3.5 t, but without trailer
• 200 truck journeys over 3.5 t with semi-trailer or trailer
The numbers represent the maximum permitted and will occur on weekdays. Less traffic can be assumed on weekends and holidays.
According to the expert, the night-time share is 11% for cars and 8% for vans and trucks.The maximum traffic volume is bindingly regulated in the implementation agreement.

Contrary to the statements of the municipal administration, it is not possible to limit the number of trucks to the business/industrial park to a maximum according to road traffic law

The assertion is misleading. It is true that “according to road traffic law” it is not possible to limit the traffic. However, this is done in a legally binding manner via the implementation agreement. The agreement is always a component of a project-related development plan, which regulates such a construction project of an investor.

Written statement on traffic control (barriers, registration license plates...) is missing

Traffic control is described in the implementation agreement. It says: “The developer will provide the access to the business park with an electronic barrier system, so that arrival and departure traffic can be registered and assigned to the tenants.”
Monitoring of the routes across Schwalmtal will be carried out by an independent traffic expert. MLP will bear the costs for this three times each.

Basic agreements / specific penalties are not considered in the implementation agreement

In the current version of the implementation agreement, MLP undertakes to ensure that the tenants comply with certain driving routes for arrival and departure traffic as agreed in the leasing contract. In the case of non-compliance, MLP assures sanction measures such as contractual penalties.
In addition, MLP undertakes to oblige all users to adhere to certain driving routes for truck arriving and departing through house rules. This is intended to guarantee that 55% of the above-mentioned possible truck journeys take place via the Windhauser Weg – Industriestrasse – Nordtangente route and 45% via the Windhauser Weg – L 475 – L 371 route.

Implementation agreement is a “toothless tiger”

From MLP’s point of view, the implementation agreement is very specific. The leasing contracts will obligate tenants to comply with the limitation on the number of permitted truck journeys to or from the business/industrial park and with the specified routes for truck arrival and departure, with penalties for non-compliance. Should individual tenants nevertheless repeatedly violate this leasing contract obligations, MLP is entitled to issue a warning to the tenants concerned and, if the warning is unsuccessful, to terminate the leasing contract without notice for good cause.
Should traffic monitoring reveal that the users are not adhering to the specified driving routes for incoming and outgoing traffic or are disregarding the limit on the number of truck journeys to or from the business/industrial park, the building permit authority, in its capacity as building supervisory authority, has the option of setting a deadline and threatening a penalty payment to request MLP to ensure that the tenants comply with the obligation imposed on them in the leasing contract to adhere to these driving routes. Furthermore, in the case of a repeated violation of the aforementioned ancillary provision in the building permit, the building permit authority has the option of threatening MLP with a prohibition of use (in whole or in part) for the entire project and, if necessary, also enforcing this.

Blocked roads up to the highway due to loading backlog at the logistics center

Plans do not envisage a logistics center on the site. Organizationally, loading backlogs are impossible.

How does MLP manage to get these low traffic numbers? The planner said that MLP has contractually agreed on very low numbers

In order to achieve a realistic implementation of the traffic numbers, MLP is only considering companies with low traffic as potential tenants. Realistic are 350 – 400 jobs for the entire site. A company with a very large number of jobs is thus excluded on principle. The traffic numbers as well as the commitment to compliance are among the most important points in the discussions with potential users. Potential tenants with too much traffic are turned down.

Increased traffic hazards in the municipal area

Dangerous spots have been identified in the area of the northern bypass/Industriestraße, which already exist independently of the planning.
These will be mitigated in the course of planning with effective measures at the expense of MLP.

Increased risk to all cyclists and pedestrians in the immediate area, including at night as well as on Sundays and holidays

The planned measures will improve traffic safety.

Speed limit of 40 km/h from the entrance to Waldniel (northern bypass) up to Windhauser Weg (with an interruption of 30 km/h at Weuthen nursery) would make sense

The examination of a speed limit on the mentioned section is up to the police or the District of Viersen. If this measure contributes to the safety of road users, MLP will of course agree.

Urination and rubbish left behind by waiting trucks on roadsides

The waiting areas are located on the MLP site, sanitary facilities are also provided.

Use by small business with 5/16 operation would be possible as an alternative

Small business would generate significantly more traffic in relation to the area of 12.5 ha. In this case, (like residential areas), traffic at night can always be assumed to be subordinate.

Why no residential area? The costs of soil disposal would be borne to a large extent by the federal government/state/EU and only a small part would fall to the municipality. The municipality could generate the remaining costs - converted to a square meter very marginally - by a substantially higher price for residential land in relation to the industrial area

For residential construction, there are significantly higher requirements regarding the remediation of pollutants since the exposure pathway soil-human is to be evaluated differently than in the case of industrial use. The requirements for remediation/securing would be so high that the costs of such a measure would not be amortized. Possible subsidies are not available or are only available to a very limited extent. In this regard, reference is made to the meeting document of the municipality of Schwalmtal: https://www.schwalmtal.de/sites/default/files/2022-02/Sitzungsvorlage%2072_21.PDF
Development of residential areas (as well as area for small business) would result in a variety of ownerships. Permanent monitoring of safeguards cannot be ensured, as uncontrolled dispersion of pollutants may occur if earthworks are not subject to approval or notified. However, a hazard should be safely excluded in the long term.
Finally, experience shows that land with an industrial history (loss of image) is less marketable and therefore discounts must be taken into account in the proceeds. A cost-covering price, even if remediation is only carried out near the surface (approx. 1-2 metre deep), is over 400 euros per square meter. Nevertheless, it would still be a contaminated site.

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