During construction work for a new branch of Mobel Hoffner, areas outside the building site were destroyed. The city has filed criminal charges.
It will be a long time before the Hoffner flags fly in Kiel, but there is already stress Photo: Jens Ressing/ picture alliance/ dpa
This is what it looks like when Bodo runs amok with the excavator: On the outskirts of Kiel, wide tracks are milling their way through a green area. Between the highway and the city ring road, a furniture store is being built, the construction of which is already controversial in the city. Now it has become known that large areas outside the building site are affected by the earthworks.
Parts of a former allotment garden site at Pruner Schlag, intended as compensation areas for the Hoffner colossus with 40,000 square meters of sales and parking areas, have been destroyed. The city is pressing charges against the company for the destruction of the environment. However, the administration itself has to face embarrassing questions.
Allegedly, it was a single excavator that was "in such a swing that it happily cut down all the greenery," the Kieler Nachrichten quote Hoffner managing director Edda Metz as saying. However, reports from eyewitnesses who have been observing the work on the site for months speak against this. From the end of October to December 2020, the areas were "demonstrably worked on with heavy equipment," according to a petition demanding "Justice for the Pruner Schlag" that had already received more than 5,500 signatures by Friday.
What is in dispute is when information about the damage and unauthorized construction became known at City Hall. According to reports, a Planning Department employee had noticed the clear-cutting as early as early November. A few days later, the information went to the Lower Nature Conservation Authority, whose head was informed on the 12th. November the responsible city building councillor Doris Grondke (parteilos) informed.
Council factions demand clarification
Nevertheless, the excavators continued to log, and the council did not learn about it: "The communication around the events on the Pruner Schlag must be improved in the future," stated in a joint statement the council factions of SPD, Greens and FDP, which cooperate in the city parliament. They now demand an answer to the open questions: "How great is the damage? What consequences are to be drawn?"
A fine of 50,000 euros is in the offing. In addition, new compensation areas must be created, and there is also talk of "overcompensation." Next Thursday, the building committee will deal with the issue.