A zoning plan regulates the location at which certain business activities may be established. If you are an entrepreneur who needs a permit or a zoning plan deviation for your business activity or business premises, then all sorts of contacts with your municipality, water board and/or province will arise. These contacts are about the applicability of laws and regulations in your case, and usually consultancies have to be engaged to map out spatial effects, noise, parking and traffic.
In many cases, it is also about gaining political support from the alderman and municipal council for your initiative if it is necessary to deviate from an existing zoning plan.
If your (intended) business activity or building plan turns out to be possibly permit-free, it is often still uncertain whether it is in fact an activity that requires no environmental permit. This uncertainty applies to permit-free construction, but now also to 80% of all business activities in the Netherlands, where nationally standardised environmental regulations apply in, for example, the Activities Decree for Environmental Management and the Environmental Law Decree.
So the rules are there, but the contact with the government about what is and is not allowed has become minimal with standardised rules. This does mean less administrative pressure in advance, but you as an entrepreneur remain responsible for the correct compliance with these standard rules. This entails uncertainty and the risk that you will nonetheless work in contravention of the applicable rules. With all the consequences for the continuation of your business activities.
If you do not comply with these rules, you will in many cases be faced with a nasty enforcement action, which will cause a lot of unrest in the company and even the risk that your business activities will have to be stopped or not allowed to start. In the phase following an inspection or receipt of a warning letter, consultation with the enforcing authority is still possible and necessary! Often, solutions can be found.
A notorious situation is the presence of houses in the immediate vicinity of your company, when your business activities could potentially lead to nuisance due to noise, odour, parking pressure or traffic movements. As a result, local residents can make life very difficult for you, causing you to lose valuable time and incur additional costs. It is therefore important to carefully examine in advance whether the desired location of your business is suitable for your business activities.
If you have to deal with objections from other companies or from local residents, it is important to respond adequately and in an appropriate manner. We always check first whether something can be solved, so that procedures can be avoided. In procedures, we know where the critical points and vulnerabilities are. If necessary, we take the lead if cooperation with civil servants and technical advisers is required to bring things to a successful conclusion.
HABITAT's team will assist you with advice and, if required, direct you in achieving solutions and decision-making by the authorities, mapping out the rules that apply to you, directing technical specialists and conducting proceedings if you do not agree with what is happening. See also: environmental management