NETHERLANDS - Nature activists have taken PGGM, the €81bn Dutch pension fund for the health and social work sector, to court over its plans to double the size of its offices.

During a public preliminary hearing in Utrecht tomorrow, the Werkgroep Natuurlijk Zeist-West will present its case to prevent PGGM from doubling the size of its offices, a former monastery in Zeist.

Although the local council has given PGGM planning permission for the expansion, the activists say that the expansion will damage the landscape and the surroundings, calling the area "ecologically very valuable".

The group claims that PGGM wants to use the surrounding park for parking spaces and argues that it will cut down trees and shrubs, a habitat of bats and other small mammals.

Ernest Schuler of the Werkgroep said in a statement today: "PGGM initially said that it would keep the work area very limited and preserve greenery in the area, but this was not properly recorded when planning permission was granted."

PGGM today declined to comment before the hearing, saying that it would not be appropriate to make an advance statement.

Earlier this month, both PGGM and the €209bn pension fund ABP contested the €1.3m fine the DNB imposed last year for promoting so called early retirement ‘levensloop' products via their respective subsidiaries Loyalis and Careon.