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Applying for an earth removal permit

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

To excavate soil from the land or in the water, you may need an earth removal permit (ontgrondingsvergunning). Find out more

Do you want to excavate soil from the land or in the water? You may need an earth removal permit (ontgrondingsvergunning). Excavating soil may be necessary 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. You apply for the earth removal permit to the competent provincial authority or, for excavations in national waters to Rijkswaterstaat (in Dutch).

No permit needed

In some cases, you may not need a permit for earth removal. This is the case for:

  • constructing and maintaining ditches (maximum 15m in width and 3m in depth)
  • day-to-day activities in th agriculture, horticulture or forestry sector
  • 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

If you incur damage because an earth removal permit has been granted, altered or withdrawn, you may be eligible for compensation. You apply for compensation to the government agency that granted, amended or withdrew the earth removal permit in question.

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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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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