Advisory reports in the Netherlands
In 2017 we issued 168 advisory reports. Half of these were mandatory advisory reviews of environmental assessment reports. The remainder were non-mandatory advisory reviews: for example, at the start of a project on the desired content of the environmental assessment report, and in the interim when important choices must be made. By comparison, in 2016 we issued a total of 159 advisory reports.
More mandatory advisory reports, fewer non-mandatory ones
The total number of mandatory reviews, 84, was higher than in 2015 and 2016. The total number of non-mandatory advisory reports was also 84, but this was five less than in 2016.
Wind turbine parks, house construction, industrial areas and land-use plans for unzoned land
The initiatives for which environmental assessment reports are written can vary hugely from year to year, and 2017 was no exception. The number of reports for new residential areas and industrial areas that we reviewed rose from seven in 2016 to 26 in 2017. The number of environmental assessment reports for energy projects such as wind turbine parks also increased.
Participation increases support for the decision
We took account of submissions by the public in almost 50% of the advisory reports. This compares with 54% in 2016 and as much as 75% in 2015. We hope these percentages will rise again in response to the emphasis we place on the importance of submissions in our dealings with public authorities. Being able to take on board specific information from submissions by the public enhances the quality of our recommendations.
Only 30% of the environmental assessment reports were complete
In 70% of the environmental assessment reports we reviewed we found major shortcomings. This percentage is higher than in previous years: 63% in 2016 and 66% in 2015. In half of the cases the competent authorities resubmitted the amended reports to us for review. Of these, 80% were complete. The missing information primarily concerned the impacts on Natura2000 areas and possible environmentally-friendly alternatives.