10 houses to be demolished in Diksmuidestraat in Turnhout in early 2018.

Niefhout

Slim Turnhout NV has launched an open call to set up a neighbourhood project with a maximum duration of five years in a former bakery and an adjoining park in Diksmuidestraat. Candidates can submit proposals until the beginning of next year. The row of houses still facing the old bakery and the garden will disappear at the beginning of 2018. 

Slim Turnhout nv is a partnership between the city, project developer ION and Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen. Together they will create more than six hundred new housing units in the next few years in combination with the care sector, as well as offices and new public space. The entire ‘Niefhout’ project will be carried out in phases. 

Since an old industrial building, an old bakery, on the Diksmuidestraat side will only be demolished in a few years, Slim wants to find a temporary use for it. "In the long term it will be replaced by a large green park for the entire neighbourhood to enjoy, but since it will take a while for that park to be created, we want to liven it up for the time being", says alderman Francis Stijnen (CD&V). "We are considering all options, from an artistic project to a new business, a neighbourhood garden with a café... Basically, anything is possible, as long as it offers added value to the neighbourhood and it does not cause any nuisance. We hope that creative people will make their voice heard. The projects can be submitted for part of the building or for the whole building, and with or without the park garden." 

Vegetable gardens 

The old bakery has been empty for about ten years. The site is hidden behind a row of houses in Diksmuidestraat that will be demolished in the spring of 2018. Once demolished, five of those plots will make way for a cycling track. "The bicycle library is also located on the site and the intention is to reserve a space for local residents who want to create a vegetable garden," Stijnen continues . "In part of the building, there will also be an exhibition area on heating networks. This is a temporary project for a maximum of five years." 

Swimming pool 

The hall of the former bakery is about 500 square metres in size. It has minimal lighting and no heating. The park garden of about 2,200 square metres can only be reached by bike or on foot from Diksmuidestraat. The park is full of trees, shrubs and grass. The old outdoor swimming pool is still there. If you want to implement a project and do nothing with the swimming pool, you will have to fill it up yourself or at least close it off for safety reasons. Slim itself will clean up the park after the demolition of the houses. "We want to emphasise that candidates for a project must be open to cooperation with others", Slim explains. "Nobody will enjoy truly exclusive use of the domain. For commercial projects, a fee will have to be paid to be determined by mutual agreement." 

Proposals can be submitted until 16 April. On 20 January and 24 February at 10 am, interested parties can visit the site. Registration is obligatory either via e-mail at filip.deroover@turnhout.be or bert.willems@turnhout.be or by phone on 014/44.33.92 

Source: www.hln.be