New structure of the Planning Act
The Planning Act aims not only at a simplification but also at digitisation and renewal: applications will generally be submitted and processed digitally. In addition, a single application portal, the Service Counter for environmental and planning permits (“Omgevingsloket”), will be introduced to provide citizens and businesses with access to various environmental permits. Administrative bodies across the country are already busy preparing their software and systems for this, albeit with varying degrees of success.
A further important adjustment and modernisation in the area of spatial planning will undoubtedly be the change from the system of several zoning plans within one municipality to a system in which, in principle, there will only be one so-called ‘environmental plan (“Omgevingsplan”)’. In the environmental plan, all spatial rules of that municipality should be laid down. A single plan should result in an easier accessible document. Citizens should be capable of finding the plan.