Fata morgana at the mouth of the regnitz river

Fata morgana at the mouth of the regnitz river

Seen from the satellite, the matter seems clear: the area at the regnitzspitze seems almost predestined as an extension of the coarse bamberger commercial area at the harbor. Framed by the B26 and A 70 arterial roads, within sight of tall industrial buildings.

But whoever roams the area to fub, this assessment quickly lands him back on the ground of facts – on a sandy soil. Rabbits have dug countless tunnels in the loose soil, soon to be followed by sand bees. A startled bird flees to the west, where the regnitz flows into the main river. Between sand hills and coarse bushes, the hiker learns why this often mentioned economic development area has so far remained undeveloped.

Bamberg’s economic advisor stefan goller also comes to the conclusion: "even in the most favorable case, a possible commercial area north of the B 26 will not provide an alternative for the land requirements of our companies for years to come."

Plans reach back to the 90s

But several years of planning have already been spent on this area. "The plans to establish a commercial area north of the B 26 are much older than the recently failed plans for the development of the "muna", tells ruth vollmar, head of the economic demand. "As early as the 1990s, there were extensive investigations into the suitability of the roughly 53 hectares of flat land for commercial development. As a result, the site was designated as a commercial area in the city of bamberg’s land use plan and has since been considered a "potential site for commercial development".

So much for the theory – but the realization is so difficult that the city planners in the 90’s love the fingers of it. First, there is the flood: the site is a designated floodplain that was inundated in the event of a 100-year flood. "Before a commercial area with appropriate development could be realized here, very extensive preparatory work had to be carried out, for example the creation of flood depressions, the filling of flat areas and so on", the city has. In some cases, the sinks had to be raised by one or two meters, and enormous amounts of land had to be modelled: in the 1990s, one insider recalls, the use of water dredgers in the river was being considered.

And then there were the bureaucratic cuts: if a municipality wants to build in a floodplain, it has to prove that "no other possibilities for residential development exist or can be created for the desired purpose", as vollmar explains.

Hallstadt signals resistance

Even if this was proven, the planners were faced with the next tangible problem: "the entire area consists of a large number of plots of land, most of which are privately owned", the city explains. "The farmers of hallstadt will certainly not give it up for a piece of bread and butter", says the insider.

And hallstadt’s city council also signals resistance – because of the flood plains: "the plans of the state of bavaria and the water management office of kronach to improve flood protection in hallstadt and also in our neighboring municipality of kemmern assume that these retention plains along the mains will remain in place.", press spokeswoman janina selig explains the argument of the northern neighbors. "From our point of view, it is not possible to attract business to this location."

On the other side, in bischberg, mayor johann pfister (BI) looks calmly on the bamberger plan. "We can only say something concrete about it when we know the plans, because what was planned years ago is no longer up to date." What he doesn’t say: there will be a lot of water running from the regnitz into the main before anything could be created here at all.

This is also the view of the bamberg planners: "for the reasons mentioned, the planning of a business park on the former muna site has been given priority in recent years", explains goller. Nevertheless, the city administration has not lost sight of the areas north of the B 26 and is still in talks, among others with the water management office and the bayernhafen, on how these areas can be put to commercial use. Before the new prison site near burgebrach was found, there was also talk of a new building here on the B 26.

The economic development direction of bamberg is currently described by those responsible in the town hall as having no alternative: "because there are no more coherent areas elsewhere in the town that are suitable for the designation of a commercial area."

The nature conservation alliance sees things differently. He points out that the city of bamberg has a relatively large amount of commercial space compared to other cities. Regarding the area north of the B 26, chairman martin bucker says: "the area is problematic." Sandy grasslands and flood plains: "here you will find a mosaic of different biotope types." Bucker sees this as a sham discussion, in the shadow of which the muna is once again to be made the focus of commercial development – and announces resistance.

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