Objections denied: Law faculty can build extra storey

The objections against an extra storey on top of the former public library at the Oude Boteringestraat, which the Faculty of Law will be moving to, have been denied.

The objection advisory committee with the city of Groningen has rejected the objections by the building’s neighbours and heritage organisation Bond Heemschut.

This means the UG can continue to renovate the building and add a fifth storey, an extra entrance to the bicycle storage facility on the side of the University Library, and a fire escape on the outside of the building.


The extra storey was a thorn in the side of Bond Heemschut and the owner of a building in the Zwanestraat. They said it wouldn’t match the historical buildings in the neighbourhood. The ‘enormity of the building block’ would change the streetscape drastically.

They also object to the height of the building. The extra storey would make the building 20.8 metres high (23.5 including the technical installations on the roof) while the zoning plan allows for a maximum of sixteen metres. 

The city confirmed this but said they can permit minor deviations from the zoning plan. Nonsense, according to the objectors, the project is far too big to be considering ‘minor’.


But the committee has judged that it’s allowed. The deviations might be called minor, but the regulations say nothing about project size. In fact, the UG didn’t even need to hire a consultancy firm to write up a report. The fact that they did is proof of their ‘meticulous preparations’, the committee said.

In its final verdict, the committee said that anyone who disagrees with the policy should turn to their city council representative.


Gijsbert van Boehoeven with Bond Heemschut is disappointed at the verdict: ‘We were hoping for a positive result.’ The organisation is considering its potential next steps.

For now, the renovation will continue as planned. The last few classes will be taught in the building this week. After that, it will be emptied out and in January, the UG’s Property and Investment Projects department will take over. The renovation should be finished by 2023.


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