Circuit Zandvoort must take measures from the province of North Holland to prevent further deterioration of nature, ANP reports. Last year, a case was filed by nature and environmental organizations, but the circuit simply received the nature permit. The Council of State ruled that this was not necessary, but the province still imposes some rules on Circuit Zandvoort. For example, the nitrogen emissions that the circuit causes each year may not be greater than in the nature permit from 2019.
Since the return of the Dutch Grand Prix, there has been a lot of commotion about the pollution of the nature reserve around the Zandvoort circuit. As a result, the circuit was taken to court several times. The province of North Holland decided that the race track would receive a nature permit, allowing adjustments to be made to the circuit. However, this turned out not to be necessary at all according to the Council of State. Based on permits and exemptions, the circuit was already able to adapt the track and organize Formula 1 races.
However, the Council of State instructed the province to think about the ‘legally uncertain’ situation that had arisen. Otherwise, the circuit could possibly fall back on the permits from 1997, 2011 and 2015, which are much broader. The province is therefore now imposing further conditions on activities in the Zandvoort dune area. Nitrogen emissions may therefore not exceed what is stated in the 2019 nature permit and the circuit must report annually on the actual emissions. The permit is evaluated every three years.
Zandvoort gets a chance to respond
The reports that the circuit ultimately sends will be examined by the Environment Agency. Depending on the results, the province will ultimately determine whether the permitted emissions need to be adjusted. The circuit, like other stakeholders, can still respond in the coming weeks, after which a final decision will be made by the Environment Agency. The question is how long Circuit Zandvoort can organize the Dutch Grand Prix. The contract with Formula 1 runs until 2025, but no extension appears to be in sight yet.
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