Update: The Gay Village project's founders have revealed it to be a 'serious hoax', designed to raise awareness about homophobia in the Netherlands. Read more here
A city in the Netherlands could become the site of a neighbourhood exclusively for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, according to local media.
Project developer Blauwhoed is proposing building a residential area on the north side of Tilburg, following research suggesting 22 per cent of gay people in the Netherlands sometimes do not feel safe in the areas they live in, the Brabants Dagblad daily first reported.
Project leader Yvonne van Mierlo told the paper the average house would cost €250,000 and future residents will be given as much say as possible on the area's appearance.
Peter Noordanus, the mayor of Tilburg, has shown support for the plans. He said: "A tolerant city is pleased to have a gay community within its borders.”
But Tanja Ineke, the president of the Dutch LGBT organisation COC Netherlands, has criticised the proposal, arguing it is not a way of solving security issues for gay people who should feel safe everywhere.
"This is not the way we should go. LGBTs should feel safe in every city, every neighbourhood and every street, not only in a separate area with a fence around," she said in a statement.