The nature permit granted to Circuit Zandvoort by the province of Noord-Holland has been lawfully granted, according to the court. As a result, work on the circuit can continue as normal.
Mobilization for the Environment (MOB) and Stichting Duinbehoud had brought the matter up. The environmental organizations found that the nature permit was wrongly granted to the circuit by the province of Noord-Holland.
This nature permit has been granted partly on the basis of calculations by a research agency and it shows that there is no increase in nitrogen emissions, among other things because there is no more racing on the circuit during the renovation.
The activities and the Dutch Grand Prix may not emit extra nitrogen, because extra nitrogen causes damage to the neighboring Natura 2000 area Kennemerland-Zuid.
According to the environmental organizations, however, an incorrect reference moment was used for the calculations, so that the outcome of the study would be incorrect.
The organizations suspect that the Grand Prix on circuit Zandvoort, the activities and the many spectators who visit the event by car, do emit extra nitrogen. That is why they should not be licensed.
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Permit was granted 'staggeringly fast'
The research report was delivered to the province on October 24 and the permit was granted the day after.
"That's staggeringly fast," MOB's lawyer said. "It's all going way too fast, it takes a lot more time."
The judge - who did not immediately understand all the figures in the report - found that fast, "but if it is your profession, it may be possible," she said.
Tribunes must be placed on the spot where sand embankments are still present. (Photo: Job van der Plicht)
Circuit has already carried out preparatory work
Circuit Zandvoort wants to start on Monday with, among other things, adjusting the circuit and placing grandstands. On May 3, 2020, the first Dutch Grand Prix in 35 years will be driven on the racing circuit.
Preparatory work, such as the relocation of sand, already took place before the permit was granted. The province gave permission for this because it was already known that the permit would be granted.
See also: The damage caused by nitrogen: 'Nature becomes a fast food restaurant'