Shops in the centre of Utrecht will be able to open every Sunday from now on, but it will be up to individual shopkeepers to decide whether or not to do so.
The city council has decided after years of discussion to sanction Sunday opening. A referendum in the city in 2005 voted against a change, but since then there has been growing local pressure for Sunday opening, news agency ANP said.
A survey last year showed 61% of shopkeepers backed the change, with 34% against.
The change was backed by the two liberal parties VVD and D66 but opposed by Christian groupings.
‘It is bad for small shopkeepers, for people who live in the city centre, for Sunday rest and for the environment,’ said a spokesman for ChristenUnie. ‘There is no positive evidence in favour.’