Environment and planning permit: earth removal

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

Do you want to excavate soil from the land or in the water (ontgronden)? You will usually need an environment and planning permit for earth removal.

Find out more or arrange now

at your municipality, province, or water authority

Excavation means work where you change something in the elevation of the terrain. Or whereby you lower the bottom of a body of water. For example, to:

  • build roads or dig foundation pits
  • extract raw materials
  • structure the landscape

You need an environment and planning permit for most excavation activities. Such as for excavations on land, in regional waters, or in the winter bed of national rivers.

Check if you need an environment and planning permit and apply

Go to the online service counter Omgevingsloket (in Dutch) to check if you need an environment and planning permit (omgevingsvergunning). In the Omgevingsloket you can see which rules apply in your municipality, province, or regional water authority. You can then use the Omgevingsloket to apply online for an environment and planning permit or submit a notification.

Please note that rules from the General Municipal By-law (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening, APV) may also be applicable.

What is not excavation?

The following activities do not fall under the definition of excavation:

  • day-to-day activities in agriculture, horticulture, or forestry
  • day-to-day maintenance work
  • excavation, opening, and removal of graves
  • soil drilling and probing
  • excavation of soil in a soil depot

You may have to make a notification if you are planning any of the above activities. Check this in the Omgevingsloket (in Dutch).

Applying for compensation

Do you suffer damage because an earth removal permit has been granted, altered, or withdrawn? You may be eligible for compensation.

Online application procedure via Message Box

Message Box has not yet been linked to the Omgevingsloket. This means that you cannot apply for the environment and planning permit for earth removal or apply for compensation via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

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