On 17 May 2005, the Dutch House of Representatives accepted a plan to realise 40 percent of new residential property inside the existing built-up area. The objective was met as 140 thousand dwellings (43 percent) out of a total of 323 thousand added to the dwelling stock in the period 2000–2006 were built in existing built-up area.
Allotment garden complexes and greenbelts
The government’s objective is to make the most of the limited space available in the Netherlands by bringing job and housing closer together. This process also creates vital cities.
Fallow plots, land that becomes available after factories and offices have been demolished, allotment garden complexes and greenbelts, etc. can be used for building residential property in existing areas.
Residential construction is also realised on VINEX locations and other places on the edges of urban areas which often were not considered built-up areas prior to 2000.
Sharpest growth in North Brabant
The sharpest growth occurred in the province of North Brabant, where the net dwelling stock, i.e. new minus demolished houses increased by 28 thousand. In the provinces of Zeeland and Groningen, on the other hand, the net increase was only 2 thousand in 2006 relative to 1 January 2000.
In the provinces of Groningen, Limburg and North Brabant, approximately 60 percent of all new residential construction was realised on existing built-up area, as opposed to only 16 percent in the province of Flevoland. Most new houses in Flevoland were built in recently constructed residential areas which did not belong to the existing built-up area in 2000.
In the period 2000–2002, a relatively high proportion of new houses (58 percent) were built in existing built-up area compared to 35 percent in the period 2002–2004 and 36 percent in the period after 2004.
Change in dwelling stock in existing built-up area, 2000–2006
Provincial and municipal distribution
The number of houses in urban areas increased by 2.3 percent, but varies from 1.0 percent in Groningen to 3.2 percent in North Brabant. The distribution across the municipalities varied much more. In the municipalities of Houten, Best and Wester Koggenland, the housing stock increased by more than 10 percent, but it declined in 29 municipalities. Nine of the municipalities facing a declining dwelling stock are situated in the province of Groningen.
Change in dwelling stock in urban areas, 2000–2006