Flooding from nature reserve; enforcement request not
recognised.

Petra

Living next to a nature reserve is not pleasant for everyone.

Our colleague Petra Lindhout wrote an annotation following a ruling by the highest administrative court in a case where local residents of a Natura 2000 nature reserve experienced groundwater nuisance on their plots. They submitted an enforcement request to the Provincial Executive of North Brabant. The local residents believed that European nature conservation law had been violated. And then they got into the legal merry-go-round. The college did not decide on their request, they did not take a decision on the request. The local residents still tried to enforce a decision through the courts, which is how they ended up in court. However, the court declared itself incompetent to hear the appeal, as it held that the enforcement request was not an application within the meaning of the law. The local residents then appealed to the Council of State. It then had to decide whether the local residents' enforcement request was an "application" (to make a decision) within the meaning of the law. That ruled that the enforcement request did have to qualify as an application to make a decision. But that does not mean that action will now be taken. Why not?

You can read more about it in the annotation.

If you have any questions, please contact our Environmental Law specialists.

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