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Introduction of the Environmental and Planning Act (Omgevingswet)

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Effective date: 1 January 2022

What changes?

The Environmental and Planning Act embodies several acts. It is set up to make it easier to test building projects on all necessary aspects. The new Act consists of 26 existing acts around built environment, housing, infrastructure, environment, nature and water (formerly Environmental Permitting Act or Omgevingsrecht). The advantages are:

  • faster and cheaper decision-making
  • better solutions to social challenges
  • more transparent decision-making for initiators and beneficiaries
  • simplification of the rules. The Act follows European directives on the environment, unnecessary legislation has been scrapped
  • more flexibility and a better fit to the actual situation

Applying for a permit

It will be easier to apply for a permit through the new Environmental and Planning Act: there will be one 1 service point for all applications and decisions. The application time will be reduced from 26 to 8 weeks. Companies always carry out research before they can start a building or spatial planning project. Under the new Act, research data will be valid for longer and some research will not have to be conducted at all anymore.

Compensation of loss

A new scheme to compensate any damages suffered as a result of government policy will be introduced. This scheme decides if damages have to be paid. This is an addition to the General Administrative Law Act (Awb). The outcome of a compensation decision according to the Environmental Act will weigh heavier than the one from the Awb. For any other laws that included a compensation scheme and that have been absorbed by the new Act, the new compensation scheme will also prevail.


The Environmental and Planning Act is made up of 26 existing laws. Some laws, such as the law on ammonia and odour emissions in livestock farming, will no longer exist.

For whom?

  • all companies


The Environmental Permitting Act is expected to come into force on 1 January 2022.

Please note: The effective date of this measure is not yet final. Entry into force is subject to its passing through the upper and lower houses of parliament or proclamation of the Order in Council (Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur, AMvB) or ministerial decree and publication in the Staatsblad or Staatscourant (in Dutch).

This article is related to:

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO