17 March 2006: Court stops enlargement at Klöcker Bros.

Court stops enlargement at Klöcker Bros.

The higher administrative court of Münster stopped the enlargement plans of Klöcker Bros. in Weseke. The reason: the administrative court rejected the development plan which the city of Borken had presented. A neighbor filed a lawsuit.

Managing director of Klöcker Bros. Dr. Christoph Schwemmlein considered the court’s judgement a “serious setback” for the main site in Weseke. The proceedings last for a couple of years now. According to Schwemmlein, there is nothing left to do but to enlarge Klöcker’s production site in Bandung (Indonesia) instead. Schwemmlein however underlined that the company with its 40 jobs would like stay in Weseke. “But we need to expand now, not in several years”.

This means, that ten jobs in Weseke, including five apprenticeship training positions, will not be created. Only a graduate majoring in “International Controlling” will be engaged. In Weseke, experts work on computers which are supposed to assure online control of machines in Indonesia in the near future. In Indonesia, high technology will be manufactured now. Robotic injection molding technique and mechatronical control printed circuit boards basically were supposed to be set up in Weseke, now they are being built in tropical heat.

Due to this judgement, regional building companies and artisans lose orders as well. The company specializing in weaving technique had planned to invest about 1,5 million euros. “We were ready” Schwemmlein said.

As the mayor Rolf Lührmann informed the members of the council, the judges complained that the potential negative effects of transport on the Salm-Horstmar-Straße were not sufficiently presented. He additionally reported that the arrangement of the industrial area was considered “unsuited for the present scattered patches of arable land” according to the distance remission. The plan apparently did not exclude retail business.

The reasons for the judgement are not available in written form yet. Lührmann informed, however, that the court made clear that another development plan could solve the problem. The complainant actually had tried to get housing rights for his terrain. He was not successful.

Managing director of Klöcker Bros. Schwemmlein underlined that the company remains obliged to the site in Weseke. Therefore, a new development plan will be worked out in order to assure the possibility of potential future enlargement in Germany. Schwemmlein did not hold anything against the city of Borken. The city “did its utmost for the industrial site in Weseke”.

Source: Daily newspaper “Borkener Zeitung”, Gregor Wenzel, March 17th, 2006


Site in Weseke weakened – annoyance

Basically, Klöcker Bros. did exactly what everybody wants them to do. They do research and develop, they hold 179 patents and want to invest. Klöcker is so associated with Weseke that new jobs were supposed to be created. But this is not going to happen, and high technology is manufactured in Indonesia now. The company does not put any blame on the city. Nevertheless, the administration very likely will be asked how the judges of the higher administrative court could reject the plan. Since there is no written explanation of the judgement up to now, it is far too early to speculate.

The whole matter is even more annoying since it takes German administrative courts many years to give the opposing parties a judgement. For companies like Klöcker with an export ratio of about 90 percent doing business in a global market that time span definitely is too long. This example shows that these companies always need to have a plan B: B as Bandung.

Gregor Wenzel

Source: Daily newspaper “Borkener Zeitung”, Gregor Wenzel, March 17th, 2006