The conservation of nature plays an important role in planning and licensing. The proximity of protected Natura 2000 sites is an aspect that plays a role in zoning plans or their amendment. At the same time, Natura 2000 legislation can also be a factor in determining whether an integrated environmental permit may be granted.

Pels Rijcken's planning and environmental law attorneys specialise in all aspects of the Dutch Nature Conservation Act: the conservation of areas, species and timber (woodland). Nitrogen deposition (the Integrated Approach to Nitrogen programme, ‘PAS’) is currently an important focus. 

Nature projects attorneys

Nature legislation and planning and environmental law are of vital importance in area development. Questions that public authorities may put to Pels Rijcken and our clients include:

  • When is there mitigation and when is there compensation? And what would be the best option for my project?
  • Is an appropriate assessment sufficient or is an ‘ADC’ test (assessing alternatives, public interest grounds and compensatory measures) necessary?
  • What means may I use for damage control and population management?
  • How do I deal with year-round protected bird nests?

Whether the issue concerns felling trees or constructing a motorway, there is no getting around nature conservation in the Netherlands. The Nature Expertise team will help you by providing advice on diverse and complex issues, assessing (substantiations to) decisions, responding to views and – should it come to this – will represent you before the district court or the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State. Our attorneys can assist you with legal advice on nature projects, and in drafting zoning plans and policy rules for nature compensation.

Advice on nature projects

An example: a new blue connection (bypass) is to be constructed as a flood protection measure. This involves excavating an area that forms a habitat for bird species protected under Natura 2000. How can you deal with the plans in the best possible way from a legal perspective to ensure that your design does not encounter too much opposition and you successfully reach the finish line?

If desired, the team can get involved right from the design phase of your nature project, working with you to make sure your project is 'Council of State-proof'. Pels Rijcken’s team of planning and environmental law attorneys has the capacity to rapidly adapt plans in consultation with you.

Recent work

Recent projects in which the team has been involved include:

  • The Integrated Approach to Nitrogen programme (‘PAS’, pilot proceedings at the Council of State)
  • ADC test IJsseldelta Zuid: a new bypass between the IJsseldelta and the Drontermeer (one of the largest Room for the River Projects)
  • Tackling nuisance cause by geese at Schiphol (damage control and flight safety).