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Applying for an earth removal permit

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 need an earth removal permit (ontgrondingsvergunning) from the provincial authority.

Find out more or arrange now

at your municipality, province, or water authority

You need to apply for an earth removal permit (ontgrondingsvergunning), for example, to:

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

You need to discuss your plans with your local municipality first. They will tell you whether you need a permit and where to apply. For excavations in national waters you apply to Rijkswaterstaat (in Dutch).

No permit needed

In some cases, you do not need a permit if you want to excavate a layer of soil (permit-free excavation work, or vergunningvrije ontgrondingswerkzaamheden). This is the case for, among others:

  • constructing and maintaining ditches (maximum 15m in width and 3m in depth)
  • day-to-day activities in agriculture, horticulture, or forestry
  • planting or cutting down trees, bushes, or other crops
  • constructing buildings
  • maintaining or clearing buildings, cellars, or graves
  • drilling
  • clearing tubes, poles, or cables

You may need to give a notification if you are planning any of the above activities. Check this with your local municipality or provincial authority.

Applying for compensation

Do you incur damage because an earth removal permit has been granted, altered, or withdrawn?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

Online application procedure via Message Box

In the province of Noord-Brabant you can apply for an earth removal permit, as well as for compensation, also online 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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