News item | 14-03-2023 | 15:11

    The Environment and Planning Act, which bundles a large number of laws and regulations for our living environment and introduces a digital counter, will be introduced on 1 January 2024. That is the result of the vote in the Senate on the Royal Decree that regulates the introduction on this date.

    The introduction of the Environmental Act adopted in 2016 marks a special moment in environmental law. But it is more than a combination of laws and a digital system, says Minister De Jonge (Public Housing and Spatial Planning):

    “The law mainly stands for a new way of thinking and acting in area development. Instead of approaching issues related to the physical living environment per sector, the Environmental Act offers the opportunity to do our work in a more integrated and cohesive manner. This area-oriented, integrated approach is essential for the major challenges we face in the field of housing, making energy more sustainable, infrastructure, agriculture and nature.”

    Decide faster

    The Environment and Planning Act bundles 26 laws and numerous rules and regulations about our physical living environment in one law. Procedures are streamlined, regulations are harmonized and in many cases decision periods are accelerated. The law also regulates a digital system and a digital counter. The digital system helps to clarify which rules apply in a certain area and offers a counter where permits can be applied for.

    At the end of January, the national government, the business community and the umbrella organizations of the provinces, municipalities and water boards unanimously supported the implementation date of 1 January 2024. After a new series of tests, they concluded that the underlying digital system – previously reason for a number of postponements – is technically sufficiently ready. is. They called on both Houses to provide clarity about the introduction as of 1 January 2024 as soon as possible.

    Good start

    Minister De Jonge: “Timely clarity about when the law will enter into force is an important condition for governments and the business community to make a good start with the Environment and Planning Act. Governments and the business community can now definitively set up their organization and work processes for the most adequate service possible to the business community and the construction consumer.”

    At the request of the Senate, the participation of citizens in the new system will be further specified and an information process will be launched for them and the business community.