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Tree felling

What can I do against tree felling?

bomenkap Amsterdam


Different types of permissions may be required to cut down or fell trees/wood stands. Therefore, the way in which an interested party can take action against this differs.

If a province or municipality has included a prohibition in a regulation to this end, an environmental permit obligation applies under the Environmental Law (General Provisions) Act (Wabo) when one wants to fell a wood stand, called the felling permit before the Wabo entered into force.

A zoning plan may also include a prohibition on carrying out work (formerly a construction permit) for which an environmental permit can (usually) be requested.

Finally, a notification obligation under the Nature Protection Act applies to the province for certain trees outside built-up areas and not in yards or gardens. Furthermore, a tree stand can have a special function for protected species, for example if the tree contains a nest in which they breed or which belongs to a species that is protected on a year-round basis. In such cases, an exemption under the Nature Protection Act must be applied for.

The provincial or municipal ordinance, for example a felling ordinance or tree ordinance, often includes a lower limit to the size of the trunk circumference to which the ordinance applies. Under wood stand can also be understood shrubs or bushes. What is allowed or not allowed differs per ordinance. Trees can also be designated as monumental or worthy of protection, for which extra conditions apply. The ordinance may include a replanting obligation as a condition for permission. In that case, the replanting obligation should also be included in the environmental permit for felling a tree stand. Specific conditions may be attached to this.

Injunctive relief

An environmental permit for the felling of a tree stand or for the execution of a work or activities should not enter into force immediately upon its granting, but only after the objection period has expired. During the objection period, an objection can be made and a request for a preliminary injunction submitted to the court, suspending the decision in order to prevent the tree stand from being felled during the proceedings.