Three questions for Marlieke Ruiter

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Marlieke Ruiter works as a spatial planner at Witteveen+Bos. Marlieke ensures that, from a planning-legal point of view, 'the shovel can hit the ground' in projects. We asked her three questions.

1. The Environment and Planning Act is about to take effect, what is its purpose?

The Environment and Planning Act is expected to be introduced on January 1st 2023. This is not yet entirely certain because of the new digital systems. The aim of the Environment and Planning Act is to bundle and modernise all rules that apply to the physical living environment. This includes rules on building, spatial planning, the environment, nature and water. This ensures a more coherent approach and also aims to speed up decision-making. There will be only one desk where you can apply for a permit.

The Environment and Planning Act also aims to promote participation and even makes participation compulsory when drawing up certain plans. 

2. What opportunities does this offer?

Participation will have a key role within the Environment and Planning Act. The law does not prescribe the form this participation should take. This offers opportunities to tailor the participation process to the location, the type of decision, the environment and those involved. For instance, you will probably choose a different form for a large wind farm than for the redesign of a pavement. Digital tools can help here, such as our online participation platform YourView. Stakeholders get insight into the project in an accessible way and can comment on the design.

3. How can digital tools help?

Using digital means is low-threshold, because people can visit the website at any time and anywhere and see what a project entails. Being present at a residents' evening is not always possible for everyone.

Another advantage is that all project information can be found in one place and you can easily keep stakeholders informed of the project's progress. This way, they know at any time what stage the project is in and what they can expect.