The government must offer equal opportunities in the issuance of land. This has been determined by the Supreme Court, the highest Dutch court. Het Financieele Dagblad writes that the ruling could have major consequences for current and future housing construction.
According to the newspaper, the Dutch ambition to build a million homes in ten years is jeopardized by this ruling. As a result of the ruling, municipalities are no longer allowed to sell land directly to developers, because, according to the judge, other parties must be given equal opportunities in the tender.
“This can have major consequences for housing construction, but it really depends on how those involved will respond,” says associate professor of administrative law Annemarie Drahmann of Leiden University. “Lawyers, real estate companies and municipalities are now looking at what this new main rule will mean in practice.”
According to the Supreme Court, the government must also adhere to principles of good administration, including the principle of equal opportunities, when concluding contracts. You cannot just enter into a contract with one party without other parties showing their interest. The principle of equality must prevent corruption within government.
The ruling only applies to projects where the municipalities have the land in their own hands. This does not apply to land sales by private individuals, project developers or farmers.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court refers to an earlier administrative decision of the Council of State from 2016. This stipulates that the government must offer equal opportunities when granting games of chance licenses. There is often only one of such permits available within a municipality, which means that equal opportunities must be offered. Now the rule also applies to the conclusion of contracts.
The Supreme Court does offer an exception to the general rule of equality. If only one party can qualify for the tender, an exception may be made. The government will have to motivate this.
Supreme Court: government must offer equal opportunities when allocating land
Source link Supreme Court: government must offer equal opportunities when allocating land