Many people enjoy outdoor events and there is nothing wrong with that. The downside is that they regularly cause serious nuisance to local residents and nature in parks and rural areas. This often concerns noise pollution caused by music, but there may also be nuisance from waste left behind, parking and traffic movements and damage to the festival site. Especially when events are organised regularly in the same place, this can lead to tensions with neighbours and nature conservationists. Organising an event requires a lot of work, and obtaining a permit or permission in time is (too) often the last straw for the organiser and the municipality. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on all parties.
Local residents and organisations that are critical of the event's organisation often feel that they have been bypassed and taken by surprise. We are regularly asked to use a legal (emergency) procedure to make use of participation and legal protection possibilities in order to prevent the event from taking place. This creates uncertainty for the organiser - even at the last minute - as to whether or not the event can go ahead.
It is important for local residents that targeted action is taken at the earliest possible stage. The rules of the prevailing zoning plan, municipal regulations and nature conservation law apply, each with its own assessment framework, which can make the legal questions and procedures complicated.
If possible, HABITAT will contact the festival organisation to see if objections can be overcome. Often, one or more legal procedures are necessary to prevent an event from taking place or to make it fit in better. Previous actions in Amsterdam and the approach of HABITAT have led to a stricter municipal festival policy and stricter permit procedures for festival organisations. Increasingly, permission is not granted by the municipality and consideration is given to the creation of reusable festival grounds, instead of using vulnerable city parks.