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The Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet): what does it mean for you?

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Environment and Planning Act (Omgevingswet, Ow), 26 laws come together in 1 new law. This makes it easier to apply for permits for your company. For example, for a construction project. The Environment and Planning Act will come into effect on 1 July 2023. From then on, there will be 1 central counter where you can check if you need a permit for your plans.

What is the Environment Act?

The Environment and Planning Act is a new law for spatial development. 26 existing laws (in Dutch) will be completely or partially absorbed by the new law. Such as the Water Act (Waterwet), the Crisis and Recovery Act (Crisis- en herstelwet), and the Spatial Planning Act (Wet ruimtelijke ordening). The laws on ammonia (Wet ammoniak en veehouderij) and odour emissions in livestock farming (Wet geurhinder en veehouderij) will disappear.

You will have to deal with the Environment and Planning Act if you want to change something in the 'physical environment'. For example, if you want to start a construction project or install a windmill.

Apply for permits in 1 place

Once the Environment and Planning Act has come into force, it will be easier and faster to apply for permits. You submit 1 application at 1 counter and you receive 1 decision. And in most cases, your application will be processed faster: in 8 weeks instead of 26 weeks.

For some projects, an 'extensive procedure' applies. For example, if you want to renovate a national monument. You will then receive a decision within 6 months.

You conduct your own research for your application

Your company can conduct its own research to obtain a permit for a spatial project. For example, if your project or idea has an impact on local residents or other companies, you can engage in ‘participation’. This means that you reach out to people in the immediate vicinity.

When applying for a permit, you indicate if you have ‘participated’. And what the outcome is of your survey. In the Environment and Planning Act, those research data will soon be valid for longer. And some research is no longer necessary at all.

Read more about the course of the application procedure on KVK.nl (in Dutch).

Digital counter: Digital System Environment and Planning Act (DSO)

Every municipality must soon be connected to the Digital System Environment and Planning Act (Digitaal Stelsel Omgevingswet, DSO). That will be the digital counter where you:

  • apply for permits or file notifications
  • can find the rules by location
  • can look up information about the quality of the living environment (this possibility will be added to the counter later)

Read the Environment and Planning Act

The Environment and Planning Act consists of several laws. The act contains frameworks, principles, and main lines. These are elaborated in 4 Orders in Council (Algemene Maatregelen van Bestuur, AMvBs):

Finally, there is the Environmental regulation (Omgevingsregeling, Or, in Dutch). It contains regulations that describe how the laws must be implemented.

New compensation scheme

Is your company disadvantaged by a decision or rule based on the Environment and Planning Act? You can receive compensation, called disadvantage compensation. The Environment and Planning Act will include a regulation that states when the government must compensate for damage that was caused as a result of a government decision. For example, if you have to incur extra costs for your construction project as a result of a rule in the new law.

Read what changes for compensation on iplo.nl (in Dutch).

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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