Earlier this month, the first step in the transfer of Beeckestijn to its new owners was finally completed by the transfer of ownership from the Velsen council to the department of DLG. 1See for more information on the transfer and the organisations involved here, here and here. It has taken all parties involved almost 6 months to agree on the terms and conditions under which the transfer takes place. It is now up to DLG and the designated owners (Vereniging Natuurmonumenten, Vereniging Hendrick de Keyser and one private financier) to finalise the full transfer and present the new plans.In early July the new owners stated they would have the plans for Beeckestijn‘s future ready and present them at a first exhibition in December 2007. The fact that now only the first step in the process has been finalised is evidence that these talks are more difficult than originally expected.If one looks at the constellation of the new ownership, it is hardly surprising these talks have taken so long. Every party involved at the receiving end of the deal has their own ideas and preferences for the future of the estate. And because the estate is not sold but traded for development areas elsewhere in Velsen, the parties that are giving Beeckestijn away also have a say in its future. The parameters set by the ‘giving’ parties are:
- the estate should remain open to the public (Velsen council).
- the new owners must be able to maintain the estate in a sustainable way for a considerable time (the Province of Noord Holland).
- [there used to be a demand to maintain the unity between house and park, expressed by the Velsen council earlier in the process, but I do not see this anymore]
On the receiving end, the parties involved have already shown they are capable of working together, but their preferences are difficult to combine. They need to find a balance between the ecological relationships between the garden and surrounding area one the one hand, and the simultaneous creation of a museum of gardening on the other, all within the parameters the giving parties have set.No one’s saying this will be easy, but the first step has been made.