In the last few hours, the news outlet from Netherlands – rtlz.nl – published an article the Formula 1 Dutch GP in Zandvoort, a venue that’s struggled to move forward with necessary site and track modifications required to hold an F1 race.
Last month, TJ13 published an article highlighting a serious set of problems facing the race organisers in Holland. In it, I reported that the Zandvoort council had warned it may need a further cash injection to ensure next year’s Dutch Grand Prix can go ahead, but this was unlikely to be as big a hurdle as the impending environmental court battle likely to plague the planners for a GP in Holland next year.
Well, it seems that the organisers are simply ploughing on without the permits required, and the local province is allowing it to happen despite the national judiciary not ratifying the permits required. Certainly a bold move.
The Netherlands has many other building projects that have halted or not got going due the EU nitrogen pollution issue. EU wide nitrogen pollution law has until recently been more or less ignored or waved aside, and the highest judiciary has recently told the government to stop immediately.
As a result all major building projects are in trouble and looking at serious delays. Well, that is apart from Zandvoort – supported by the Province.
Below is a direct translation from rtlz.nl of the current situation in full using translation software.
rtlz.nl – Province allows circuit Zandvoort to go ahead without permits
Nature and environmental organizations in North Holland have serious criticism of the province. He let the Zandvoort circuit go way too far for the preparatory work for the Formula 1 in May 2020. In a letter to the members of the States, they call for the work to be temporarily suspended until all permits have been definitively granted.
The Zandvoort circuit hopes to be able to organize Formula 1 on 3 May next year. This requires adjustments to and around the track.
In order to be able to implement these, permits and exemptions are required, which have not all been definitively granted. In the meantime, the work has already started.
Province recognizes lack of permits
The province acknowledges that work is being carried out without the permits and exemptions already being granted. For example, the installation of amphibian screens was dug in the Natura 2000 site ‘without an area protection permit issued for this purpose’.
In addition, a piece of dune has been pushed against amphibian screens, “without Circuitpark Zandvoort having an exemption for damaging a geological monument.” The dune area near the circuit is such a geological monument.
“All rules ignored”
According to nature and environmental organizations, the work areas of the protected sand lizard and natterjack toad have been buried under the sand and permanently destroyed.
They fear the consequences of more radical work with which the circuit wants to start November 4. These will take place before the province receives the sessions at which their objections can be dealt with, because those objection sessions are only planned at the end of November.
“The Zandvoort Circuit Park seems to ignore all regulations and, in anticipation of public participation procedures, to implement work”, the environmental clubs say in the letter. “The province seems to be cooperating in this.”
The nature and environmental organizations have objections, enforcement requests and lawsuits pending before the province and the Haarlem District Court.
These cases concern the protection of endangered species, the emission of nitrogen and its precipitation in the Natura 2000 area. It is also about noise, for example due to an increase in the number of helicopter flights.
On the political agenda
The letter can be discussed at the end of this month during a meeting of the Nature, Agriculture and Health committee of the province of Noord-Holland. Within provincial states, the ChristenUnie, Party for the Animals, the PvdA and the SP were already critical of the return of Formula 1 to Zandvoort.
At the request of the SP, Formula 1 has been added as an agenda item, because there is still no mobility plan to keep Zandvoort accessible to all visitors in May 2020, there is a fear of noise nuisance, uncertainty about nitrogen emissions and budget deficits are imminent from the municipality of Zandvoort.