The plans of the US electric car manufacturer Tesla to expand the site of the car factory in Grünheide near Berlin have cleared a first hurdle. According to the participants, the main committee of the municipality of Grünheide recommended that the municipal council initiate a procedure for a new development plan on Thursday. The vote was extremely close with five votes to four. The municipal council will discuss this on June 23rd.

According to the municipality, Tesla wants to build a freight depot, logistics areas, a service center for customers, a company daycare center and training rooms on the site.

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Mayor Arne Christiani (independent) said that the logistics plans are about relieving the surrounding region. The application relates to a total of around 170 hectares, of which only around 100 hectares have not yet been planned, the rest overlap. Christiani assumes that the process for the so-called B plan will take at least a year.

In the first phase, Tesla wants to employ around 12,000 people and roll off the assembly line around 500,000 vehicles a year. Production is only ramped up gradually. A battery factory is still under construction.

The current area is around 300 hectares. Brandenburg approved the car and battery factory in March. Environmentalists criticize that part of the area is in a water protection area, which prohibits the conversion of forest to another type of use. The Wassertafel Berlin-Brandenburg had warned of problems with drinking water on Wednesday. The Ministry of the Environment and Tesla had previously rejected concerns.

The first results of the examination of conditions in the Tesla factory are now available. According to the State Environment Agency, the group has “largely fulfilled” the state requirements for protection against contamination and nature conservation in the factory in Grünheide. Authorities carried out extensive tests from May 9th to 20th, the results of which are available to the German Press Agency (DPA).

During the check of the immission protection, no facts were found during the check that would justify or make necessary a ban on operation, the state environmental agency announced. The “Märkische Oderzeitung” reported on it on Thursday.

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The State Environment Agency found some minor deficiencies. For example, the installation locations of machines deviated by a few meters compared to the submitted documents from the construction plan. “Such deficiencies can be remedied by updating or updating the submitted documents, provided these deviations have no impact on noise protection measures or other relevant specifications, for example,” said spokesman Thomas Frey.

In addition, operating units were reported as being in operation that had not yet been set up. Both deficiencies could be remedied without affecting ongoing operations.

The State Environment Agency announced that the requirements for species protection had been implemented completely and professionally. This includes the implementation of populations of smooth snakes and sand lizards, the deployment of nest boxes for tree breeders and ecological forest conversion.