Princesses against plans to clear forest around Soestdijk Palace to build apartments

Princess Irene and Princes Margriet are against plans to cut down the so-called Borrebos near Soestdijk Palace and build housing on the former grounds of the Koninklijke Marechaussee, they said in a letter. "At a time when possibilities are being sought for planting forests, cutting down trees is at least undesirable. And certainly not building in an old forest area," the princesses said, NOS reports.

Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard lived in Soestdijk Palace from 1937 until their death in 2004. Three of their four daughters were born there. In 2017 the MeyerBergman Erfgoed Groep bought the estate with plans to realize a hotel, restaurants and housing around the palace, and to use money from the sale of apartments to renovate the palace. 

According to the Princesses, their grandmother and mother attached great importance to preserving the forest as much as possible and so do they. "We support those who want to protect the Borrebos and add that we also think it is important to give nature back to itself on the former barracks site," they wrote.

The city council of Baarn will make a decision on the preliminary zoning plan of the Soestdijk estate next week.