The Netherlands to increase by 10 hectares
The Dutch province of Limburg will see a subtle increase in its land area.
Belgium’s King Filip and Queen Mathilde met with the Netherland’s King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima on the November 27, 2016 in Amsterdam to sign a formal treaty that would agree to a land swap.
The reason for the land swap
The land swap came about as a direct result of construction that took place in 1961 to straighten out the borders of the Maas river. It left three pieces of land on the wrong side of the border, which they are now addressing.
In effect, the Netherlands will grow by 10 hectares, which converts to a total of 0,1 kilometres squared. The Belgium areas of Presqu’île de L’llal and Presqu’île d’Eijsden will be swapped for Petit Gravier.
The reason this is such an important issue is because it leaves those areas prone to parties and illegal activity given that the Belgium police can only access it via boat and with official permission from the Netherlands.
Although there are no buildings or residents living on the land in question, it will take quite some time to put the plan into action.
The reason for this, according to Limburg major, Theo Bovens, is because it involves water companies, land registries, and three councils, in addition to the governments of both Belgium and the Netherlands.
With all parties agreeing, the land swap should take effect in January 2018.