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Zoning plan

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

Do you want to establish your company in the Netherlands? The local zoning plan determines where you can locate your business. Read more.

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at your municipality, province, or water authority

In the Netherlands, if you plan to establish your business at a particular location, this choice of location must be in line with the municipal zoning plan (bestemmingsplan). A zoning plan includes detailed rules on how a certain plot of land or area can be used. It states, for example, where homes, shops, hotels, catering establishments, and other companies may be established. As well as maximum permissible heights and widths of buildings.

Viewing zoning plans

In a structural plan or vision, municipal and provincial authorities outline potential spatial planning developments. Structural visions, zoning plans, and draft zoning plans can be viewed at the municipality or province and via the Dutch-language website Ruimtelijkeplannen.nl.

Consultation period regarding a zoning plan

If your local municipality plans to amend a zoning plan, there may be an impact on your company both now and in future. Before changes are adopted, the municipality is obliged to organise a consultation procedure (in Dutch). You will then have 6 weeks to study the draft plan and give your opinion. After studying the responses, the municipality draws up the definitive zoning plan. Finally, the plan needs to be adopted by the municipal council.

Loss and damage due to a zoning plan

It may be that you suffer loss or damage because, for example, a municipality assigns a different use to a building or piece of land. This may reduce the value of your property. In some cases, you will be eligible for (partial) compensation of this 'planning blight'. This is only possible if you could not foresee the reduction in value when you bought the property and you have not received a different kind of compensation yet. You can apply for compensation at your local municipality.

Relocation of businesses and expropriation

The municipality may ask you to relocate your company, for example because your company is located in or near a built-up area. You can negotiate the arrangements with the municipality.

In addition, the government sometimes needs land, for instance to build houses or for new nature conservation areas. It may be that your company has to relocate so that the plans can be implemented. In that case, the government will expropriate you. The municipality or the state can only implement an expropriation order on the basis of public interest. They also have to give compensation. Expropriations are always preceded by amendments to or renewal of the zoning plan.

Sale of land by preferential right

In some cases, the government might need your land. For example, in order to construct a road. The local, provincial, or national government can then establish a preferential right on your land. If this is the case, you will be informed accordingly. If you decide to sell land which carries a preferential right, you must first offer the land to the relevant government agency.

Building, rebuilding or expanding your business

Do you want to build, rebuild or expand and do your plans not correspond with the municipal zoning plan (bestemmingsplan)? In certain cases, you may obtain an all-in-one permit for physical aspects 'for acting in contradiction with the rules of spatial planning'. You can apply for this permit to your local municipal authority. You may also ask your municipality to change the municipal zoning plan. You can contact your municipal authority for more information (in Dutch).

Have you applied for the all-in-one permit for physical aspects? If so, your municipality will apply for a water test afterwards, from the water manager. The water manager will test whether the application takes water related aspects into consideration, to a sufficient extent.

Exploitation plan and plan costs

The total amount charged by municipalities for the development of public utilities with regard to construction or redevelopment plans is fixed. Builders and developers can use a model (in Dutch) in order to estimate the expected costs.

Basic geographic data

Across the board, all Dutch government organisations use the same basic geographic data of the Netherlands. This data, from different sources (data controllers), has been combined by the Land Registry Office (Kadaster) to form a single, detailed, digital map of the Netherlands. The map contains up-to-date data about buildings, fields, roads, waterways and rail transport lines. Anyone who provides data to the data controllers, has to do this only once.

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