Check the environment plan

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

Take a look at the environment plan first. In it, the municipality describes what may happen to the site. Often, not all the information is equally important to you. Read the steps for viewing the environment plan here.

Rules from zoning plans move to environment plan

On 1 January 2024, the new Environment and Planning Act took effect. The environment plan (omgevingsplan) will eventually replace all zoning plans. The environment plan brings together various rules. For example, rules from zoning plans, the General Municipal By-law (APV), and other acts. Your municipality has until 2032 to transfer the rules to the environment plan. Until then, not all rules may be visible in the Omgevingsloket. Contact your municipality (in Dutch) for more information on the rules.

1. Search for the environment plan via the Omgevingsloket

You can find the environment plan via Rules on the map (Regels op de kaart, in Dutch) in the Omgevingsloket. You can search for documents by address. Or by drawing a location on the map from which you want to view documents. You can then view the environment plan for the location.

In the tab 'Plekinfo' (location information), you will find the rules set for activities at this address and in the surrounding area. For example, rules for cutting down trees, or installing an alarm system. Under the tab 'Regels' (rules), you can find further explanation and you can also use the search function.

2. Use the right search words

It can help to search the environment plan for certain words. Such as 'bedrijven' (businesses), 'milieu’ (environment), 'verkeer' (traffic), and 'parkeren’ (parking). Using different search terms will quickly bring you to parts of the text with important information for you.

Topics that may affect your business are:

How much room do you have to expand your business? Usually this is at least 10%.

What activities are allowed on your site and do they match your operations? There is more than just the designated use of your own piece of land (plot) that affects the rules for your business. The designated use of nearby plots of land can also affect your business plans. So, always look beyond your own property.

Environmental zoning (milieuzonering, in Dutch) determines the space a business has to carry out activities that may be environmentally harmful. This mainly involves odour and noise.

Is enough attention paid to the accessibility of your business or location?

Is there, and will there be, enough parking on and off your premises?

3. Give your opinion via the municipality in case of adjustments

If your municipality wants to change an environment plan, this may affect (the future of) your business. Before the municipality adapts an environment plan, it must involve affected persons and businesses in the preparations for amending the environment plan. This is also known as participation (in Dutch). The municipality must also allow responses to the changes. For this, the municipality must follow a public participation procedure (inspraakprocedure).

When announcing the amendment, the municipality also indicates how you can submit your opinion. The municipality often organises meetings to give local residents and entrepreneurs the opportunity to react.

After publication, you have 6 weeks (the submission period, indieningstermijn) to view the draft plan and give your opinion. This is called ‘submitting an opinion’ (zienswijze indienen). You submit your views to the municipality. The municipality then reviews the responses and draws up a final environment plan. Ultimately, the municipal council decides whether to approve the environment plan.

Respond together with other business owners

Adjustments to the environment plan in your neighbourhood may not only negatively affect your own business, but also other businesses nearby. By responding to the plan together with them, you will be in a stronger position. For example, you can approach the local business association. Or your trade association (in Dutch) or (regional) employers' association.

The municipality often involves business associations in the plans from the beginning. In that first phase, your input has the best chance of success.

4. Stay informed about plans

When the municipality wants to change an environment plan, it announces this on its own website. You can also subscribe to messages about your neighbourhood (berichten over uw buurt, in Dutch) on You will then be notified when there are government announcements about your neighbourhood. Or you can search for previously published announcements.

Do you not live in the area where you want to start a business? Then you can also choose another address for which you wish to receive notices.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK