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A quiet area (stiltegebied) is an environmental protection area in the Netherlands in which the natural sounds of the area predominate. Other sounds may not exceed 40 decibels (dB). General regulations to avoid or minimise noise pollution in quiet areas are laid down in Provincial Environmental Acts (Provinciale Omgevingsverordeningen, POVs). You can find the location of quiet areas on the Atlas Leefomgeving map (Atlas of living environment, in Dutch).
Applying for dispensation
In order to carry out activities that exceed the sound level of 40 dB in quiet areas, you will need dispensation from the provincial authority. In that dispensation, they will lay down the rules and regulations governing the activities in question.
Please note: Other permits or dispensations may be required to carry out an activity in a quiet area, for instance based on the Nature Conservancy Act (Natuurbeschermingswet), the Environmental Management Act (Wet milieubeheer) or the General Municipal By-law (Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening, APV).
Online application procedure via Message Box
You can apply for dispensation to carry out activities in a quiet area also via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.