Civil servants call for delay to new planning law ahead of 2023 start


Civil servants are calling for new legislation which is supposed to speed up the planning permission process in the Netherlands to be delayed because there is not enough time to implement it properly by the January 2023 deadline.

The new regulations are supposed to replace the current plethora of 26 laws governing planning permission, which cover noise, environmental impact, safety and other issues such as height of the proposed construction.

The aim of the legislation, which has been described as the biggest overhaul of the legal system since the constitution was drawn up in 1848, is to make it quicker and easier to build houses on a former industrial estate or convert a factory into housing.

It is also central to housing minister Hugo de Jonge’s pledge to build up to one million new homes in the Netherlands by 2030.

But government officials told Nieuwsuur that it will not be clear if the new legislation will be enacted until October, and that is not enough time to make proper preparations to implement it just three months later.

This means no-one knows which system will be in use by the start of next year, and, they argue, that means all construction projects will have to be put through both systems, meaning extra costs and time consuming red tape.

Dozens of national and local officials as well as independent advisors have told Nieuwsuur that there are too many questions surrounding the new law, with one warning that the impact will be subject of the ‘next parliamentary inquiry’.

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