Lawyers: If you want to be safe, fill out this stable

If it were up to the Cabinet, the intranet would be subject to authorization. In addition, nature (Wnb) permits may have to be updated in the future if there is expansion or other modifications to business operations that require a new permit. When updating, unused licensed nitrogen space, called latent space, can be removed from the permit.

According to attorney Charles van Mierlo of the law firm Gresnigt & Van Kippersluis, withdrawing the underlying space in the current legislation is not possible. So the law needs to be amended if the government wants to get space out of nitrogen in this way. It will generate a lot of comment, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes through the current House and Senate. Revocation of permits is easier for politicians to arrange than seizures that take years.

Joost de Rooij from Linsen Advocaten points out that growers would do well if they used up the entire area of ​​their nature permit as early as possible. My advice: fill up that stable while you still can. Take full advantage of the permit you’ve been given, provided it fits into your strategy of course.

It remains unclear how the government intends to shape the abolition of latent space. Van Mierlo suspects that the Cabinet left the definition of latent space deliberately broad. He therefore doubts whether the businessmen are still on time to fill their stables, though he advises they do anyway. “We don’t know the rules yet. It might be determined on the basis of long-term average barn occupancy or a reference date in the past.

Revocation of the permit is easier than confiscation

Charles Van Merlo, Solicitor of Gresnigt & Van Kippersluis

Van Mierlo will not build a new licensed barn now. That’s another story. Then farmers can sometimes get a rude awakening in court.

Attorney Niko Bauman points out that the restrictions do apply to outdoor netting with a latent nitrogen space. For now, this is only possible if the nitrogen space is actually achieved. So the stable should be right there with the animal quarters. The cattle should be able to return soon. If the barn has already been completely demolished or partially dismantled, the nitrogen space is no longer there.


The lawyer says that not many statements have been made on this subject yet, there is a discussion on this subject. If you have the permit, but never built the barn, this is for the unused realized nitrogen space. It is conceivable that a Democratic legislator would establish regulations that could limit this scope. The question then is whether there should be compensation for this.

In his daily practice, Bowman regularly engages in nitrogen transactions. He does not consider it unreasonable for the government to have lurking space in its sights. We should not exaggerate the consequences. For farmers, the financial impact is not that great. Nitrogen trading is not a multi-million dollar business. Ranchers like to keep a lot of extra space, so there’s definitely a limitation.”

Often history reference

As a cattle rancher, the advice for filling your barn in regards to latent space intake and potential reference date is something Bowman is familiar with. “If you want to be on the safe side, this is very helpful.” He points out that in the history of manure policy since the 1980s, reference dates have been used more often than not. “When something like that is suspended in the air, it makes cultivators feel uneasy.”

“Setting it all down” sounds easier than it is, Bowman says. I know stories about dairy cows being sourced from Germany before the phosphate rights reference date. In my legal practice I have seen no evidence of this.

GroenLinks and PvdA reference date has not arrived

Last week, GroenLinks and PvdA made a proposal during the LNV budget discussion to take May 9, 2019 as the reference date for obtaining potential nitrogen acreage from farmers. On that date, the PAS regulation was rejected by the State Council and nitrogen became a political issue. Minister Christiane van der Waal (Nature and Nitrogen) argued that latent space could be used quickly. Animal rights, phosphates, compost space and other environmental legislation often play a role as well. The proposal only received support from SP, Party for the Animals, Volt, Fractie de Haan, Gündogan and Bij1 and did not take place.

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