Construction companies expect to miss out on billions of euros in turnover due to the suffocation problem. That is what construction companies say in a survey by the trade association Bouwend Nederland.

Construction companies expect to lose a total of 3 billion euros and the builders are also afraid of redundancies. The ABN AMRO warned Friday morning of the loss of 70,000 construction jobs, if no effective measures are taken. The completion of the construction of at least 15,000 new-build homes is also uncertain.

"We can't start"

A bloodbath, says Guus de Groot, from construction company Van Omme & De Groot. "Politics has completely misjudged the impact of the measure." The new nitrogen policy came unexpectedly, construction companies did not anticipate it, says De Groot, and the consequences were underestimated. "It is as if you are arriving at your house, and that is already on fire."

"It is as if you are arriving at your house and it is already in flames." Guus de Groot

Dozens of projects are ready to go, says De Groot, the materials have been ordered, staff is there, the down payments have been made but they cannot start. Because even for the construction of energy-neutral office buildings and homes, vans are needed to transport staff or construction cranes with a diesel engine. This causes nitrogen emissions.

According to the new nitrogen policy in the Netherlands, the nitrogen deposition of future construction projects must be compensated immediately and a solution to this cannot be sought afterwards.

Permits for nature reserves

Many planned construction projects have not yet taken this into account, which means that the construction sector can carry out fewer projects than planned. If a construction project involves nitrogen entering a Natura 2000 area, then a permit is required.

Although construction is responsible for only 0.6 percent of nitrogen emissions, those permits are therefore needed. This also applies to the construction of energy-neutral homes or wind turbines.

De Groot: "I have entire prefab buildings at the factory, but I can't get rid of them. The factory won't hold them for me forever. As a construction company, we are a link. Because what do you think of the staff and suppliers?"

"Think of the woman who has bought a house and cannot move, or the poor construction worker who is standing on the street" Guus de Groot

The staff can now be relocated to other construction projects, De Groot says, but not for long.

"For a wealthy project developer or contractor, politicians or citizens feel no sympathy, such as for farmers. But think of that woman who has bought a house and cannot move, or the poor construction worker who is on the street? With our cranes it We do not fill Malieveld full, this sector is too fancy for that. "

"Do electric faucets exist?"

The cabinet wants building projects to be resumed as quickly as possible, Minister Schouten said on Friday. It was previously announced that some projects that have been closed down can still continue with a new calculation method. For next year, the government is looking at a so-called threshold value for nitrogen precipitation. Nitrogen that is released during projects must then be compensated.

Hans van Norel, owner of construction company Van Norel bouwgroep in Epe, looks with sad eyes at how the work is standing still. "I have two projects that should start early 2020. Technical preparations must be made, purchase agreements signed. That is not possible if I do not know if we can start."

Nitrogen is released with every construction activity, it is stated in the Nitrogen Approach Program (PAS), and that is right. Van Norel: "We would like to come to the construction site with an electric car, but I don't have an electric crane. I don't even know if they exist. Moreover, there should suddenly be six thousand of them for the whole of the Netherlands."