Work on the Zandvoort circuit may be continued by the judge. The judge ruled Tuesday that the social importance of the Grand Prix in Zandvoort outweighs the importance of the natterjack toad and the sand lizard.
Several nature organizations found that the work to prepare the Zandvoort circuit for the Dutch Grand Prix would destroy the habitat of the protected natterjack toad and sand lizard.
They felt that there was no need for the work and had therefore brought a case against the exemption granted by the province of Noord-Holland to the circuit to undertake preparatory work.
The lawyer of the organizations argued two weeks ago that the habitat of the species can only be affected if there is an "overriding public interest".
That interest exists, for example, in the construction of a port or airport, but a Formula 1 race does not belong to that category, the lawyer stated.
According to the Circuit and the province of Noord-Holland, that public interest is there, given the positive economic impact of the Grand Prix on the circuit of the North Holland seaside resort. The judge agreed.
A young natterjack toad. (Photo: Job van der Plicht)
Nature and environmental organizations are going to take on more cases
The court's decision only relates to an exemption granted by the province to capture and relocate the toads and lizards and possibly affect the habitat of the animals.
Nature and environmental organizations have already announced that they will also bring proceedings against other permits granted to the Circuit.
The first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985 will be held on 3 May 2020. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Zandvoort in the week of the race event.