The preliminary relief judge of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Dutch Council of State rendered a practical decision on 19 July 2016.
The Municipal Executive of Alphen-Chaam ordered that site accommodation situated on a parcel in Ulvenhout be removed and remain removed within four weeks of the date of its decision, on pain of forfeiting an incremental penalty payment of EUR 5,000.00 in a single sum.
The appellant claimed that no integrated environmental permit within the meaning of section 2, recitals and at 20, of annex II to the Dutch Environmental Permitting Decree (Besluit omgevingsrecht)(hereinafter: ‘Bor’) was needed for the site accommodation. To that end, he argued that the presence of the site accommodation was related to the renovation of the converted farmhouse on the parcel for which a permit had already been granted and that the site accommodation was functional for that work.
The Municipal Executive was of the opinion that no construction work was underway at the time of the enforcement decision and that therefore the site accommodation was not used functionally. It was not until after the decision had been issued that excavation works relating to the foundations commenced.
However, the Division held that an integrated environmental permit had been issued for the renovation of all or part of the converted farmhouse on the parcel and that the district court had rightly ruled that site accommodation is not only functional for construction work when the work is actually carried out: site accommodation can also be conducive to construction work before said work commences.
The Division granted the appeal and set aside the decision contested in the appeal proceedings as well as the incremental penalty payment imposed and ordered the counterparty to pay the costs of the proceedings in the amount of EUR 1,574.80. All is well that ends well for this citizen who was inconvenienced by this municipal approach, which was perhaps somewhat overzealous.