Grünheide Mayor shares update on Tesla Giga Berlin’s proposed expansion plan

Credit: @tobilindh/X

Grünheide Mayor Arne Christiani has written a letter outlining an updated proposal for Tesla Giga Berlin’s planned expansion. The new proposal would involve Tesla cutting significantly fewer trees than initially intended, among other things. The proposal comes after the residents of Grünheide voted to deny Tesla’s request to clear out another 100 hectares of monoculture forest from the area. 

Giga Berlin’s forest clearing activities have attracted criticism since the facility’s earliest days. More recently, anti-Tesla protesters have even gone so far as to build treehouses to show their defiance of the EV maker’s tree-clearing plans. What has been lost over the years, however, is the fact that the trees in the Giga Berlin complex are not a natural forest. Instead, it is a tree farm that’s originally intended to be used for cardboard, as noted by Elon Musk back in 2020

Despite this, Tesla’s tree-clearing activities have remained controversial. This came to a head recently when Grünheide residents were asked to vote for or against Giga Berlin’s planned expansion, which would, unsurprisingly, involve more of the monoculture forest being cut down. Ultimately, residents decided to vote against the EV maker’s plans. But in his letter, Grünheide Mayor Christiani noted that Tesla could adjust its plans so that less of the tree farm would be cut down. 

Following is a translated version of the Grünheide Mayor’s letter. 

Dear residents,

Dear municipal representatives,

First of all, I would like to thank you all for the high level of participation in the residents’ survey.

The result of the residents’ survey on the submitted B-Plan No. 60 was clear to us, and we respect the opinions expressed. 

Why is B-Plan No. 60 so important?

In my view, B-Plan No. 60 is urgently needed, as otherwise, the necessary transport infrastructure projects cannot be implemented in the foreseeable future, which would have considerable negative consequences for our community and the environment. 

What has been adapted?

1. Preservation of 70.3 ha of Forest

The primary planning objective is to preserve as much of the forest as possible on the area covered by development Plan No. 60. To this end, around 47 ha, which was originally planned as industrial land, is now designated as forest land. In addition to further forest areas, which are secured by a planting commitment, a total of around 70.3 ha of forest will now be preserved. The adjusted planning is thus intended to take account of your wishes and ensure that the forest is preserved as far as possible under planning law.  

2. State Roads and Goods Station

The existing traffic infrastructure cannot cope with the foreseeable volume of traffic. The other primary planning objectives are the creation of a planning law for the adapted and optimized planning of the state roads L 386 (as a relief for the existing L 38) and L 23, as well as for the possible realization of a company-owned goods station. This freight depot is the necessary prerequisite for the fact that significant volumes of traffic can be handled by rail, which will considerably reduce the volume of traffic on the roads in our districts. 

Contrary to the frequent assertion that the construction of a freight station would also be possible on the existing site of the electric car manufacturer, it must be said that this is not possible due to the relocation of a Deutsche Bahn switch to the east and therefore due to technical railroad requirements. This also requires an adjustment to the planning for the L 386 already established in B-Plan No. 13, 1st amendment.  

The original intention of the planning to significantly expand the operational area for the Gigafactory is now reduced to a small extent and only made possible to the extent that the connection of the factory premises to the L 386 can take place.

Another frequently voiced assertion that the establishment of development Plan no. 60 was intended to create a prerequisite for increasing production capacities must also be rejected! This was never the aim of the planning! It was merely a matter of creating additional storage and logistics space as well as the possibility of accommodating employee-related facilities. The latter facilities have now been completely omitted. Areas for storage and logistics will be significantly reduced in size. 

The public and authorities will be consulted again on the amended draft of B-Plan No. 60 from 21.03.2024 to 04.04.2024 in accordance with Section 4a (3) BauGB.

For you and our municipality of Grünheide (Mark).

Arne Christiani


Below are the updated plans for Tesla Giga Berlin’s proposed expansion. 

Entwurf BPlan Gemeinde Gr Nheide Mark by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

Mayor Christiani’s letter can be viewed below.

Erkl Rung B Plan Nheide Mark by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

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Grünheide Mayor shares update on Tesla Giga Berlin’s proposed expansion plan
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