Masterplan developed by Atkins


The development will consist of 10 zones all within and sensitive to the site’s distinctive landscape.

Holiday Park
The holiday park, with 610 cabin units, grouped in small clusters, will be in harmony with its forested surroundings and allows guests to connect with nature. There will be an arrivals lodge, central facilities, and clubhouse for all-weather activities. A spa and wellness centre will be located in the creek area, an exceptional location of tranquillity and beauty. The Holiday Park will appeal to young couples, families and the retired and will adopt ecologically sound principles. This will include the creation of new habitats, the usage of natural construction materials, sustainable transport and keeping the forest car-free.

Sports Zone
The sports zone will complement the holiday park, enhance the retail offer and serve
the wider community. It is aimed at family sports and
entertainment, games, adventure play, fun and easy as well as passive enjoyment. An other part of this zone would appeal to the more adventurous youth and is adrenaline-fired, thrilling and exciting.
The audience would include the holiday park clientele and sub-regional catchment
of day-visitors. There will be a lakeside café and activities would include mini golf, five-a-side soccer, tennis, bowls or boules, tree top walks, boating, ice-skating, sailing, canoeing and other water sports, in addition to mountain biking.

Main Gateway to the National Park
The heart of the development will be a new and vibrant gateway to Hoge Kempen National Park, providing education and entertainment. It will comprise a visitor centre, located in a dramatic location next to the restored pithead tower. An underground innovative exhibition - ‘Upside Down’ - will conduct the visitor through a series of experiences including the interpretation of the local coalmining industry and its community, and an exhibition of European biodiversity and the evolution of the local environment.

The visibility of the new Gateway buildings will be essential to the overall strategy of attracting visitors through it and on into the wider landscape and the National Park. There will also be an Animal Spot – a living display of animals; a Green Corridor to provide an informal recreation area and a buffer between the industrial area to the north and retail to the south; as well as an observation post at the summit of Long Terril which can be accessed by cable car or chair lift.

Nature Zone
A Nature Zone will form the transition area between the more developed parts of the project area and the National Park. It is based on the large western lake and the wooded slopes of the terrils. Tranquillity and education on biodiversity will be the key experiences, with information panels and bird hides located at key locations.

Green Village
A new residential village is proposed near to Garden City which lies to the south of the site. There will be 90 houses and 10 urban villas within retained woodland and designed according to principles of sustainability and with large plots enabling residents to create attractive gardens. The houses will be designed for energy efficient use and built in sustainable materials. The development will be an example of modern urban design and architecture.

The former administration building of the mining company of Eisden will be refurbished to form a high quality, 52-key boutique hotel focused on guests who enjoy a variety of interests. These include those coming to the area to shop, experience nature, participate in outdoor activities, have business commitments or enjoy a romantic week-end away to discover Limburg.

Small and Medium Enterprise Zone
There will be two clusters for small and medium enterprises to the north of the green corridor, adjacent to an existing industrial area. The employment buildings will be contemporary in design with glazed elevations and the use of timber to provide a unifying element with the other new buildings proposed within the master plan. Access and parking will follow the sustainability principles of the full master plan.
New retail will be provided in two phases. Phase 1 will consist of retail development at the back of Value Retail Maasmechelen Village (MMV) near the pitheads. This will be a dramatic S-shaped new themed retail development fronting onto a new lake based around the eastern pithead. It will be themed in terms of outdoor sport, leisure, health and well-being. This phase of 5,300m2 Net Lettable Area (NLA) (in addition to 6,700m2 NLA provided by Decathlon) will also add a health club. The provision of lakeside restaurants and cafes will improve the setting of the historic pitheads, attract additional visitors to the overall retail development and extend the stay of existing visitors. 
Phase-2 of the retail development will be located to the south east of Value Retail (MMV) next to Zuid-Willemsvaart. A new multi-storey car park is also planned adjacent to the existing Tourist Information Centre.

Access and Parking
Access within the site and parking is based on:
• Minimising vehicular penetration within recreational areas through mainly
peripheral parking strategies, whilst serving all key activities as conveniently as
• Making no new connections between the north and south of the site
• Providing adequate parking as unobtrusively as possible
• Developing a network of minor service roads on a hierarchical basis

The masterplan will ensure that transport to the site is as sustainable as possible. This will include encouraging the use of:
• The Spartacus Light Rail network,
• A passenger ferry service from Maastricht;
• Electric shuttles between key nodes;
• Cycle and Segway hire centres at various key points on the site.