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FAQ's fire at Holland Casino

Frequently asked questions (FAQS) about the fire at Holland Casino Groningen (municipality Groningen, city of Groningen).

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Demolition phase 2 and 3

De municipality has permitted the second and third phase of de demolition of the Holland Casino building. This means that demolition company Steenhuis can continue breaking down the building. The first phase will end on november the 24th. The demolition permit states that the demolition company takes into acount the safety of the direct surroundings and its residents. The company will continue to check for asbestos in the remains of the casino. The permit can be looked into by the public from the 23th of november at the desk "bouwen en wonen" or at overheid.nl.

Demolition of the Holland Casino building

When will demolition begin?

Demolition will begin on Monday 23 October at 7:00 a.m. Preparatory activities for the demolition will begin on Monday 16 October.

Roughly how long will the demolition take?

The first phase of the demolition is expected to take five weeks. The demolition company will try to shorten this period wherever possible, but this depends on factors such as the weather.

It is expected to take four to six months to complete the demolition.

What is involved in the first phase of the demolition?

The first phase will involve the demolition of the taller parts of the building. This phase has three stages:

  • stage 1: demolition of the front of the roof
  • stage 2: demolition of the front right-hand side
  • stage 3: demolition of the rear right-hand side

At the end of the first phase, a new plan will be drawn up for the demolition of the rest of the building.

stage 1: demolition of the front of the roof
stage 2: demolition of the front right-hand side
stage 3: demolition of the rear right-hand side

Can residents/business owners remain in their houses/premises during the demolition process?

Most local residents and business owners will be able to remain safely in their properties during the demolition.

Unfortunately, a number of residents and business owners whose properties are adjacent to the Holland Casino building will be unable to return to their properties for some time. These people have been informed in person at a private meeting.

The building has been damaged by fire and may be unstable, making it impossible to reliably determine in advance how badly the building has been damaged and what the consequences of that damage may be. We have made this decision because the safety of people and their buildings is our main priority.

When exactly will the works be carried out?

In the first demolition phase, the demolition workers will be active from Monday to Saturday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Demolition activities will take place six days a week to ensure that the residents and business owners can return to their properties as soon as possible.
At the end of the first phase, a new plan will be drawn up and the working days and times will be updated.

Will the parking garage also be demolished?

At this time, it is not expected that the parking garage will be demolished.

What will happen to the trees in the area?

For the demolition, six trees have to be cleared. A logging permit is not required for these trees because the trunk at 1.30 metres above the ground has a diameter of less than 20 centimetres. The gigantic tree behind the casino was damaged by the fire. In principle, this tree is not in the way of the demolition works. The situation is now not safe enough to further protect the tree. As soon as it is safe enough, site fencing will be placed around the tree to prevent further damage. When the tree surgeon can safely get to the tree, the surgeon will examine what the precise consequences will be for the tree.

How large is the area under construction?

The construction area is a little larger than the area that has already been cordoned off. This is necessary both to make room for equipment and for safety reasons. The construction area will be enclosed with fences about 2.4 metres high. Once the façade has been demolished, the fences will be moved a few metres back.  One lane of the bus route will then be re-opened.

Will the municipality produce a demolition report for the demolition of the Holland Casino building?

Yes. Since 1 April 2012, no permit has been required for selective demolition and the removal of asbestos; instead, there is a requirement to report the planned activities. This was established in the 2012 Building Code (Bouwbesluit 2012). No appeal or complaint may be made against a demolition report.

Can I inspect the demolition report?

Once the demolition report has been accepted, the municipality will publish it at Overheid.nl. You can inspect any associated documents since 19 October at the municipality's Building and Housing department (Loket Bouwen en Wonen) at Harm Buiterplein 1.

For more information about the procedure, you can call the Building and Housing department on 14 050, on workdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Is Holland Casino going to reopen at the same site?

It is still too early to make a statement about this, as it depends on many different factors and ongoing research. It will be some time before a decision is made.

Health and safety

How will the asbestos be safely removed?

The demolition company specialises in asbestos removal and has all necessary certificates for the safe removal of asbestos. During the demolition, the building will be humidified (by spraying water), to ensure that the asbestos does not disperse.

The asbestos will be safely removed in a separate process.

Where can I go if I have questions about health issues?

If you have questions about asbestos and health, you can contact the Environmental Medicine (Medische Milieukunde) department of Groningen's Municipal Health Services (GGD Groningen). Their telephone number is 050 367 4000. In the event of any health problems, contact your GP.

Inconvenience and damage

What kind of inconvenience can local residents and business owners expect?

Nuisance which is common for a (large) building project: noise nuisance, dust nuisance, moved containers, construction vehicles, scaffolding, etc.

Demolition works do not take place without noise nuisance, during the working hours noise will be produced. The construction cranes and the delivery and removal of materials will cause some noise nuisance. The demolisher will of course try to keep noise nuisance to a minimum. Measurements will be taken to check that the noise does not exceed the legal limits. Dust and insulation material could also cause a nuisance outside the closed-off site, due to the wind. This nuisance will be prevented as much as possible via a sprinkler installation on the construction crane. Residues will be cleared away as much as possible by the demolisher.

How will buildings be protected against damage?

The demolition plan has been drawn up in such a way as to keep the risk of damage to surrounding buildings to a minimum. Under health and safety legislation, no fences or boards may be put up in front of the houses before demolition takes place. Any unforeseen damage that occurs as a result of the demolition will be repaired.

Where can I report damage and potentially submit a claim?

You should contact your own insurance company with questions about damage and claims. This advice also applies to property owners who rent out rooms. Students who have not insured their rooms may recoup damages through the insurance policy of the building where they live.
In the event of any damage, questions or claims, always contact your own insurance company first. Please also send damage reports to Holland Casino's damage expertise adviser: r.kruithof@vonrethexpertise.nl

Where can I bring my garbage?

The underground garbage disposal on the Gedempte Kattendiep, location 1714, has been removed till mid-December. Until then residents can bring their litter to the disposal on the Kattendiep, location 1718 or in location 1695 on the other side of the Steentilbrug. Across 'uitzendbureau MF' on the Schuitendiep, we will place a dumpster. The dumpster will be emptied two or three times a week. You'll need a garbage card to open the dumpster.

Accessibility and traffic control measures

What routes will the construction-related traffic take?

The transportation routes have been chosen in such a way as to cause little or no inconvenience to the surrounding area. Wherever possible, drivers will try to take little-used roads.

The current route for transportation to the site is: over the Steentilbrug from Damsterdiep, then via Gedempte Kattendiep to Holland Casino. The current route for transportation away from the site is: from Holland Casino to Zuiderdiep, then to Stationsstraat and via Emmaplein towards the A7.

How can people get to Gedempte Kattendiep?

Businesses/buildings on Gedempte Kattendiep between the City Hotel and Schuitendiep are accessible from Schuitendiep.

Businesses/buildings on Gedempte Kattendiep between the City Hotel and Gedempte Zuiderdiep and users of the parking garage in Kleine Peperstraat can take a different route. To get to these buildings, follow the diversion signs from the western side of Schuitendiep. This route takes traffic via the Steentilbrug, Damsterdiep, Europaweg, Griffeweg, Trompsingel, Zuiderpark, Hereplein, Herestraat and Gedempte Zuiderdiep.

Traffic emerging from the Kleine Peperstraat parking garage can go via Gedempte Kattendiep to Oosterstraat, and then via Grote Markt, Gelkingestraat and the inside lane on the south side of Gedempte Zuiderdiep to the Rademarkt.
Traffic intending to load and unload goods in the Oosterstraat/Gelkingestraat area can get to Oosterstraat via Hereplein, Herestraat and the bus lane on Gedempte Zuiderdiep.

The signage on Herestraat and (the bus lane on) Gedempte Zuiderdiep has been adjusted for the duration of this situation. These measures will be in place for as long as the main lane of Gedempte Kattendiep around Holland Casino is unavailable.

Fire

Has the cause of the fire been identified?

No, the cause is not yet known. The building is too unstable for investigators to enter it, so the fire service has taken pictures of the interior, first using a robot and later using a drone. If you have any video recordings of the fire, please e-mail these to the fire service at publieksbeelden@vrgroningen.nl

Was a sprinkler system installed in the building?

There was no sprinkler system installed in the Holland Casino building. There is no legal requirement to instal such a system. The building met all legal requirements in terms of fire safety.

Questions, contact details and communication

As a local resident or business owner, where can I go if I have any questions?

During the first phase of the demolition, a project manager from the demolition company will be available to answer questions about the demolition at a fixed time: from Monday to Saturday between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. If you have a question, please notify the security guard at the fence on the Schuitendiep side.

You can call the municipality during working hours on 14 050, or send a WhatsApp message.

How will the municipality and Holland Casino communicate with local residents and business owners?

Several meetings have been organised for residents and business owners. We are keeping them informed about new developments in various ways, including on this website, by letter, in the Stadsnieuws Centrum newsletter and through a WhatsApp messaging service.