The McDonald’s restaurant in Wippolderlaan in Wateringen will close in a few weeks. The branch on the N211 will have to move after more than a quarter of a century, because the road there will soon be widened.
The sandwich corner gas station will remain standing for the time being. The question remains for how long, because in the meantime all kinds of lawsuits are taking place. A multi-million dollar claim to taxpayers looms.
A company spokeswoman said: “That’s right, our branch there will close permanently on November 27.” The closure has been hanging over the market for years, Media partner Omroep Western reports. “We are now informing all employees and ensuring that they get a new job. Individual interviews are now being conducted for this purpose.”
They probably won’t remain unemployed for long: they can work at the branch in Harnachpolder near Den Hoorn, about 2 km away. The spokeswoman confirms, “Or in another restaurant in the area because there are many job opportunities.”
McDonald’s did not make the decision itself
For motorists driving from south of The Hague towards the motorway and wanting to carry the familiar tan bag full of fast food, it will now be a short drive. At the head office of the “Big Yellow M” they regretted that the relatively small branch along the N211 had to close its doors.
“Yes, that’s certainly a shame. But the matter has been decided for us.” The province of South Holland wants to widen the road and says the gas station and hamburger giant should make way for it. A spokesman for Omroep West said they could stay until January 1, 2025 at the latest.
The BP Wateringen gas station wants to stay
But why is McDonald’s closed now? “We have discussed this with BP. They are still involved in a lawsuit, and we are not involved in that.” It cannot yet say whether McDonald’s will file a claim. “We are now busy with employees first, that is our priority.”
McDonald’s leases its restaurant space from BP, which owns the gas station next door. Their spokesman says they don’t want to leave at all. “We expect more clarity on this matter by the middle of next year. We would like to remain in this location, but the province does not want to. This is the subject of a legal case,” he added.
“One of the best locations in Holland”
According to him, “a really beautiful site” is being lost. He even talks about it being “one of the best locations in the Netherlands”. Is it meant in terms of location, atmosphere or turnover? “Big picture. It’s a great station in every way.”
the case I’ve been playing it for years now. This can be annoying for employees, who don’t know where they stand all this time. But we don’t know how they test that. The speaker says: We are not allowed to talk to people. “But we are doing everything we can to move them the best we can.”
What will replace Mac?
He doesn’t want to say what will happen in the meantime to the place where the McDonald’s is currently located. “We currently have no idea about further developments and therefore will not speculate,” she added.
According to a BP spokesman, there will be more clarity by the middle of next year. It’s all about the road that needs to be widened. Every day witnesses heavy traffic jams, so the number of lanes in both directions must be increased from two to three. So things are fixed and the “rest area”, as the site is called in official language, must give way.
The county says nothing about an alternative location
“In the project we assume that the rest area land will be available to users until January 1, 2025 at the latest, based on a court ruling. Users have appealed against this ruling. A date has not yet been announced for the appeal hearing,” the province of Zuid Holland informed us.
Isn’t there an alternative location along this new, expanded route? The county doesn’t want to answer that question. The land should be expropriated and there may be a claim for damages. This can come at a high price, Omroep West was already reported in 2018.
Will taxpayers pay millions of dollars in claims?
Franchisee Andre van der Goes from Zwethland BV has warned about this for years. “If the rest zone is included in the new plan, it will only cost the province a few million euros. But the compensation if the rest zone is not restored at all will cost the province tens of millions,” he said at the time. “This is the destruction of capital.”
Van der Goes doesn’t want to respond at the moment. He says he will wait for the lawsuit. In 2018, the province said through MP Flor Vermeulen (VVD) that it would continue to look at a possible new location.
“Ready in four years”
But the province does not want to say anything about the result of this research. And whether the government agency has too much tax money on hand to obtain compensation? They are also keeping quiet about this in Zuid-Hollandlaan.
A district spokesperson said: “The issues you raise are part of the legal process in which we await adjudication. We will include that in our response.” The contractor is already preparing the work. The N211 widening should be completed in 2027. The McDonald’s roadside restaurant opened in July 1998, making it just over 25 years old.
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