Netherlands to introduce "surroundings permit"

Parliament backs government proposal to merge 25 existing environment-related permits into one

The Dutch lower house of parliament has backed government plans to bring 25 current license requirements relating to the environment into a single "surroundings permit". This will cut the number of permits issued by 200,000 and save at least  €36 million annually, says the government. Licensing procedures will also be speeded up, although the parliament wants further legislative reform to drive this. Permits that will be replaced include those relating to building works, conservation and mining. Environment minister Jacqueline Cramer expects to introduce the new permit in January 2009. See press release.

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