early 1970s

In October 1970, J.A. Kuiper finalised a draft 'bestemmingsplan' (a formal planning document under Dutch law) based on the 1969 masterplan (see illustrations below). Unfortunately the plan never lost its draft status, so it lacked legal authority. Supervising curator M. Ruppert left the university and due to the lack of strong initiative, the group of architects ended their free consultations on the planning of 'De Uithof'.

Due to democratic changes within the university the planning process slowed down and was discussed at great lengths. Two external factors caused the building activities to come to a complete standstill. First of all, budget cuts made the Biesheuvel Cabinet to order a 'bouwstop' (formal ban on all building activities) and secondly a controversy with the city of Utrecht arose concerning the 'bestemmingsplan'. The city council found a way to introduce a possibility of building houses in 'De Uithof' to which the university fiercely objected. Progress was frustrated entirely and after 10 years the development of 'De Uithof' effectively stopped.

The plans for building houses threatened the university's growth potential and limited the number of possibilities to build laboratories. During 1972 much paper was produced and many people involved were released of their duties. To end the status quo, a steering committee consisting of influential politicians and high-ranking civil servants was formed, chaired by the Provincial Governor of the province of Utrecht and including representatives of the four cities that were involved. The idea was to establish a form of regional authority for 'De Uithof'. Consensus was not reached.

In 1973 the argumentation for university growth in 'De Uithof' was jeopardised. The university council -now formally empowered- proclaimed itself to be against moving the entire university to 'De Uithof'. Council and board held opposing views. Radical alternatives were considered, even to the point that the university were to be regionalised with locations in the neighbouring towns of 'Amersfoort', 'Nieuwegein', 'Zeist', 'Culemborg, 'Houten', 'Maarssen', etc. These suggestions were seriously introduced by reputable external advisors!

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