Where and how can still be built? | News item

News item | 5/30/2023 | 3:45 pm

The cabinet is giving provinces a tool for how they can take the future into account when building new buildings. Where is it better not to build anymore? And what risks should you take into account in the places where you will be building? Consider, for example, sufficient drinking water, the risk of soil subsidence and the risk of flooding.

Today, Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure and Water Management), also on behalf of Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Housing and Spatial Planning), sent a draft of the ‘spatial assessment framework for climate-adaptive built environment’ to the provinces and the House of Representatives. This contains a decision tree that provinces can use to determine where to build and how to do so.

Minister Harbers: “We have seen what extreme weather can cause in the Netherlands. Not only in case of prolonged drought, but also during extreme showers, such as in Limburg. I think the Netherlands should prepare for this. That is why the central government is helping provinces to determine where they can and cannot build, and what risks they must take into account if they do build.”

Minister De Jonge: “It is one thing that is certain that more will have to be built. But I think it’s important that those houses can be there for a longer period of time, and not that we will run into limits again in twenty years’ time. So we have to make sure that enough drinking water is available for the new houses in the future, for example, and that they are resistant to subsidence.”

Next steps

The assessment framework is currently a draft. In the coming months, the provinces will examine whether they find this concept helpful and where it can be improved. The intention is to have a final framework in the autumn of 2023.

In November 2022, the government indicated that in the design of our country, there should be a greater role for what our water and our soil can handle. This means, for example, that it is not smart to build right next to a dike, because we need that space in the future to widen that dike.

Avoid delay

The framework will in any case be applied to projects for which no zoning plan has yet been adopted on 1 January 2025. For the other projects, the framework will be applied as much as possible. The government has decided this in order to avoid disproportionate delays, given the number of homes that are needed.