The Veneto Region slows down and postpones the beginning of the works by declaring the project subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment, after two and a half years. Riccardo Donadon: "We will consider moving it to Milan"
After months of waiting and several postponements, the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Commission of the Veneto Region declared that our H-CAMPUS project is subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment, thus delaying the expansion of our hub dedicated to young people and education, destined to become a talent pool for the whole Country.
“I am baffled, angry and disappointed by this decision that I find absurd and impossible to understand.” declares our founder Riccardo Donadon – “Unfortunately, the evils of our Country are present also in our beautiful region that, in two and a half years, has not been capable to approve a project aimed at creating a school, a unique education center that will bring culture, wealth and opportunities to the whole territory.
I am unnerved by the blindness of those around us who still see us as “those who create startups”, but have failed to understand that we are a company that pays out €20 million a year in salaries to over 500 employees, a company formed not of kids, but of professionals who work, have families and are the present and the future of our Country.
This morning, a girl of our school shyly asked me: "…is today the day when they decide if you can build our school, right? But why don’t they want to?". Tomorrow I'll try to explain it to her. But I'm extremely disappointed, we're talking about €65 million, 350 workers waiting to build. How is that possible to block the construction of a school...
In these months, on many occasions I have been stunned by how the bureaucracy undervalues the work of the 22 professionals who are accompanying us on this path. We have filed over 1000 pages in support of our project and honestly I believe that very few people have ever read them.
I am curious to see what the EIA Commission will do differently than what we have done until now, because I don’t believe that there can be topics that we have underestimated, since guaranteeing the safety our students is our PRIMARY interest. I am frightened by what probably will be a useless farce that threatens to further slow down the possibility for over 1000 students to have access to an innovation and culture hub, a unique hub both in Italy and in Europe. We will now consider to move these €65 million of investments in the Milan area that would be thrilled to welcome us, even if it would be a huge defeat for my territory, that perhaps I love too much."
The decision of the Commission comes despite an authorization process that started more than two years ago, on February 8, 2016, and that immediately declared H-CAMPUS a project of strategic interest for its high sustainability and its social impact on our territory. Anteo, a spin-off of Ca’ Foscari, has in fact certified that H-CAMPUS would have an economical outcome of €8.7M each year on the surrounding territory.
The project was shared with the Veneto Region and the Municipalities of Roncade and Quarto d'Altino at the end of 2015, then it reached a Program Agreement that assessed its feasibility and a complete Strategic Environmental Assessment with a positive outcome.
In November 2017, H-FARM and Cattolica Immobili chose autonomously to start the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure to certify the absence of negative impacts on the territory and to unblock this tangled bureaucratic process. All the institutions have expressed a favorable opinion, as many as 25 opinions, 7 from the Civil Genio alone on the hydraulic issues, to demolish an absurd tsunami wave thesis from the Piave river that after 14km of destruction and death would come to wet children's shoes of the campus that obviously would be safely left at home or promptly evacuated on the roofs of the school as agreed in the plan drawn up and approved by the Civil Defense.
We have 25 positive opinions from the competent bodies, 7 from the Civil Engineering Department on the hydraulic issues, to demolish an absurd theory that states that a tsunami could come from the Piave river and hit the people in the campus.
All this has not been enough. Since last January, the month when the Commission should have disclosed its opinion, an endless series of postponements has begun and concluded today with a negative outcome. A decision that delays such an opportunity for growth and change for the Country, postponing the start of the works indefinitely.
A painful decision that slows down the creation of a SCHOOL, an innovative education center that will have a positive outcome on the territory and that will create a talent pool much needed today to satisfy the need of companies for qualified people in the innovation field.