Polycarbonate translucent enough to grant greenhouse permit

The granting of an environmental permit to build a new greenhouse in Aalsmeer has been objected to. The greenhouse would not really be a greenhouse, because the light transmission would be too low, there is no room for water storage in the plan, and the construction would not meet the latest requirements for snow and wind loads for a greenhouse.

The Amsterdam District Court ruled in the case on 20 March, the ruling of which was recently published. In autumn 2020, a permit application was made for an "agricultural processing plant and changing an entrance and exit road". A new application followed in 2021, this time for the construction of a 'building for practicing a greenhouse growing business'.

Initially, the municipality rejected the application, saying the building would not meet 'structural safety' in line with the building code. After adjusting the plan, giving the material the required light transmission, the permit was granted.

52% light transmission
This was objected to by a nearby party. That party argued that it was not a greenhouse, but a business premises without a greenhouse, where no flowers, plants or vegetables would be grown. It would still be an agricultural processing plant. As arguments, the plaintiff points to the lack of water storage, the translucent nature of the roof and the structure's failure to meet the latest requirements for snow and wind loads.

In the ruling, the court agrees with the municipality that the light transmission is sufficient. There is use of polycarbonate for greenhouse deck and facades with 52% light transmission on average.

The water storage point does not hold up either. In fact, there is the possibility to still store water with silos inside the building. There is also enough space on the plot for a water basin or silo. Furthermore, the structure is also sturdy enough according to papers. The complainant did not provide any evidence as to why this would not be the case.

The Amsterdam District Court declared the appeal unfounded. An appeal is possible.

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