Builders and farmers will be in trouble over nitrogen for years to come

Construction projects that can not go forward. Farmers who can not expand. Grazing cows that are no longer self-evident by a single court decision. Anyone who thinks that the new Minister of Nature and Nitrogen will quickly solve nitrogen problems will be disappointed, as the judge rejects every permit granted.

Additional nitrogen deposition

Koen Peters of Mannaerts Appels Advocaten knows all about it. Peters helps a group of residents of the Murvik neighborhood in Walwik Brabant. He is against the construction of two houses and has so far succeeded in preventing the necessary zoning change for this purpose.

“We think the neighborhood is done,” says resident Rob Munster. “Further condensation is undesirable and should not occur.”

Locals argue, among other things, that the arrival of the two houses will lead to additional nitrogen deposition in the nearby Natura 2000 area of ​​Loonse en Drunense Duinen. What is added to the statements of new residents must first disappear elsewhere.

The home developer says that the nitrogen deposit has already disappeared elsewhere. Hobby horses were kept in a house next to the construction site and are no longer on the meadow. This provides – in plain terms – horse droppings and urine, as well as ammonia, and nitrogen deposition. Enough to build two homes, according to a report prepared by the developer.

spread horse

“I knew the horse excreted ammonia and ammonia often played a role in agricultural discussions,” Peters says. But the “hobby horse” used to get a permit to build two new homes? No, the lawyer had never seen anything like this before.

According to Munster and his fellow objectors, the horse was dragged along with the Mane. “There are many people who can attest that the horse has not been here in recent years.” It is one of the reasons for objection and appeal, because: No horsepower and no nitrogen deposition has recently disappeared and can now be used for new construction.

Pending conclusive evidence of the presence or absence of a horse, the State Council has decided to suspend the zoning plan amendment for the time being.

This is an example of how parts of the country can continue to be locked down, say well-known presidents Maxime Verhagen and Sjak van der Tak of Buend Nederland and LTO Nederland, respectively.

legal quagmire

Its members love to build and farm. But in recent weeks, judges have rescinded the permits granted, because it is not certain whether the projects will deposit more or less nitrogen in natural areas. “We ended up in a legal quagmire,” van der Tak sighs.

Last month, for example, the construction of 163 homes in Egmund aan den Hof was canceled and the dairy farm in Ostrend is currently being expanded. And last week, the Zfull Court again discussed the issue of unlicensed grazing and fertilization of agricultural land.

Verhagen concludes that “not only the local population, but also all kinds of organizations can initiate proceedings over and over again, as a result of which the court withdraws the permit that has been granted.”

“It doesn’t help people.”

He says the horse being taken away as compensation for new homes “was designed because there is no structural solution.” “So, Minister, Cabinet: finally get to work, and make sure there is room for new projects.”

Nature and Nitrogen Minister Van der Wal-Zeggelink sent an action plan to the House of Representatives at the beginning of last month, but that’s not good for people now, according to Verhagen. Cabinet is a decentralized provincial approach. “The result: additional consultation, additional bureaucracy, and as a result, 2022 and 2023 also threaten to waste years.”

Much to Verhagen’s dismay, because it means that “three years after the decision of the State Council, there is still no structural solution available”. This also leads to uncertainty on the farm, says van der Tak.

The country must move

“Three years ago, the judge revoked a series of permits the government had given to our members, and then the government itself promised to correct it, but that hasn’t happened to this day. Instead, there is a threat of confiscation and trouble.”

Verhagen and van der Tak want their members a “new perspective”, in the short term too. The House agrees with the builders and farmers. He recently passed a motion that 2022 should not be lost. The country should act again this year: before summer the House of Representatives will debate nitrogen again.

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