Environmental Permit finally adopted

On 27 November 2015, The Flemish government has finally adopted the decision implementing the decree
regarding the environmental permit.

Starting from January 2017, on expiry of the one-year transitional period, the permit procedure in Belgium will change drastically.

The new environmental permit will integrate the existing building and environmental permit into a single permit for an indefinite period of time.

Hence, as of the implementation of the decree, the double permit procedure will be history and will be substituted by one single procedure, which is beneficial both to efficiency and administration.

Moreover, the permit will no longer have a maximum time limit of 20 years: it will be granted indefinitely, subject to periodical municipal checks.

Finally, a so-called ‘administrative loop’ has been inserted in the decree, by means of which irregularities, committed during the procedure, can be rectified.

For more details related to this matter, we refer to a previous article on our website that you can consult by clicking here.

Not every one is pleased with the new decree. Natuurpunt, Bond Beter Leefmilieu, Ademloos en stRaten-generaal all have filed an appeal for partial annulment before the Constitutional Court. They argue that the decree, and more specifically the permanent character of the new permits and the mitigated environmental test, are not compatible with the constitutional right to a healthy environment (art. 23 of the Constitution).

We will have to wait and see if this new decree will survive this constitutional test.

07 December 2015

Gieljan Van de Velde - gieljan.van.de.velde@peeters-law.be
Leila Mstoian - leila.mstoian@peeters-law.be