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Due to resistance from the Greens and Pro Natura

Aargau greenhouse zone smaller than planned

Birmenstorf farmers (Canton Aargau) would now like more greenhouses: In the community, the existing special agricultural zone for vegetable farms should therefore have been expanded by 13.33 hectares, which is equivalent to an area of about 18 football fields. In addition to fixed greenhouses, so-called cold foil tunnels would also be permitted in such a zone. However, this would require an adjustment of the cantonal master plan. The consultation process for this was held in the fall of 2018, and there was resistance, including from the Green Party and Pro Natura Aargau.

New proposals currently under consideration by the canton
The regional journal SRF reports that the structure plan procedure has now been put on hold. Municipal clerk Stefan Krucker has confirmed this: "However, it is already about a year ago that the procedure was suspended," he explains. "Due to the resistance in the structure plan procedure, we decided together with the canton a year ago to look for a new solution; one for which no adjustment of the structure plan is necessary."

The new proposals are currently being pre-examined by the canton. This is the real news, Krucker said. "According to the new proposal, the area to be converted into a special agricultural zone would be smaller than the approximately 13 hectares originally planned," explains Krucker. And secondly, stricter regulations would apply to farmers, so that the preservation of the crop rotation areas would be guaranteed.

Pro Natura fought back right from the start
With a change in the building and use order (BNO) Birmenstorf could avoid a structure plan procedure, said municipality mayor Marianne Stänz already at the beginning of the year. The intention is to preserve the village character and the landscape around Birmenstorf. The municipality tries however to make at least a certain growth possible for the native vegetable farms.

Nature conservation association Pro Natura has opposed the special agricultural zone from the very beginning. Through rezoning, valuable crop rotation areas could be covered with solid greenhouses. "You don't need arable land for this, you could just as well do it on the roofs of Zurich," said Pro Natura managing director Johannes Jenny in the summer of 2018.

In response to the news that the special zone for greenhouses has now been suspended, he said: "We are happy if the matter is taken seriously. The still open areas in the sprawling landscape really must be kept free."

Source: Badener Tagblatt 

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