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    Administrative Jurisdiction Division provides an overview of planning blight criteria

    The value of a building or vacant land is largely determined by what you can do with it. Land zoned as 'forest’, for instance, is worth less than land on which construction is permitted under a zoning plan.

    The value of a building or vacant land is largely determined by what you can do with it. Land zoned as 'forest’, for instance, is worth less than land on which construction is permitted under a zoning plan.

    If a new zoning plan is adopted, which limits the use of a building or land in comparison to the previously applicable regime, this may result in damages for the owner. The same applies to the broadening of uses of an adjacent plot. Such damage is called planning blight.

    Planning blight occurs when a building or land loses value due to the adoption of a new zoning plan. For example, the construction of a new runway in the vicinity of a house can lead to decrease in value due to noise nuisance. The expiry of development rights on a private plot of land also affects the value. Compensation for the depreciation can be requested from the municipality in which the real estate is located by starting planning blight proceedings.   The assessment of these planning blight requests leads to much discussion in practice. The central question is often what types of damage are eligible for compensation, what the extent of the damage is and what part of the damage should remain for the account and risk of the owner.

    In its judgment of 28 September 2016, our highest administrative court, the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, provided a handy outline overview of his earlier rulings on planning blight and the criteria by which applications for the granting of planning blight should be assessed.

    Some of the aspects addressed in the comprehensive overview include which spatial consequences should be considered in the assessment of planning blight if damage is not recoverable because it was foreseeable, and when it is considered reasonable to call in the help of an expert. The Division also provides a basis for the determination of the portion of the damage that should be borne by the aggrieved party.

    The ruling is a clear guide and a must read for anyone who is confronted directly or indirectly with planning blight.

    Click here to read the ruling (in Dutch).