Flemish Parliament approves several major “environmental decrees”

Flemish Parliament approves several major “environmental decrees”

Yesterday, the Flemish Parliament in plenary session approved a number of very important decrees that will fundamentally alter the procedural landscape for spatial planning and environmental law.
 
More specifically, these are the decrees on the environmental permit, the enforcement of the environmental permit and the decree on complex projects.
 
These decrees basically attempt to simplify and accelerate the authorisation procedure, particularly concerning the granting of permits for complex projects.
 
Very briefly put, the environmental permit introduces a linkage of the environmental permit and the urban development permit. Instead of two separate permit procedures, a single integrated permit procedure is provided for with the environmental permit, so that the environmental aspects and the urban development aspects of projects can now be assessed at the same time.
 
The introduction of the environmental permit and the two “flanking decrees” signifies a shift in terms of granting authorisations and various other aspects that are related to spatial planning and environmental law.  
 
The decrees still have to be published in the Belgian Official Journal. Their entry into force also depends on several implementing decrees that have yet to be drawn up.
 
On 15 May 2014, Atty Kristof Hectors is organising a seminar where he will explain the fundamental aspects of the three above-mentioned decrees in greater detail.