Importance of taking note of a licensing decision

If you wish to realise a project, you are obliged to notify third parties of the final decision on the permit application in various ways. In this article, we discuss the process of notifying a permit decision.

How do I find out the status of a licence application?

Here, we distinguish between the licence applicant and persons filing an objection or third parties.

The licence applicant can track the status of its licence application through the Environment counter. This is the Flemish government's website on all information related to permit applications. He will also receive an e-mail with the permit decision. This is done automatically via the Environment Counter.

For persons who have a objection filed and all other third parties, the yellow poster is the main method of publication. Posting a yellow poster in A2 format with the caption "notice of decision on environmental permit" after all, counts as valid publication. This at the place where the permit will be executed. The poster must always be visible from the public road. This poster also always states:

  • for which the licence was granted
  • to whom the licence was granted
  • which government took the decision
  • the place where the decision is available for inspection
  • how to appeal the decision

In addition to posting, the above information is also published on the municipality's website. The decision can always be retrieved analogously or digitally in the town hall. Every citizen can also check the status of a permit application free of charge via the Environment counter.

Here you can find more information in which cases you should post a yellow poster.

In certain cases, the municipality is also required to publish an advertisement in a regional daily or weekly newspaper. As with the publication of a public enquiry, these are usually large-scale projects with a top-level environmental permit or requiring a full environmental impact assessment.

Note: the board and the permit applicant are not obliged to personally notify third parties about a permit decision. Nor to those who filed an objection. These parties must follow up the permit decision themselves.

Read more about the public enquiry and the possibility to object.

Why is knowledge of a permit decision important?

Those who disagree with the decision can challenge the building permit. This is subject to a short deadline of usually 30 days. After 30 days, it is no longer possible to challenge the permit. It is therefore important to learn about the decision quickly so that you can file an appeal in time. This 30-day period starts to run from the day after the yellow poster was posted.

Find more information about contesting planning permission here.

The licence applicant may execute the final permit after this period. He may start work 35 days after the first day of posting.

Read more about how to apply for an environmental permit.

Do you have questions about a permit application? Or would you like to object to a project in your area? If so, please feel free to contact with our environmental law lawyer.

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