A public review of the permit application shall be organised.
During the public review, any natural or legal person can submit their views, comments and objections.
If the permit application includes an environmental impact assessment or regional safety report on a project, the public review shall also address the contents of that report, unless this report has already been approved and is still current.
The Government of Flanders shall establish the more specific rules for the organisation of the public review. It can determine those permit applications for which the public review includes an information meeting as well as the more specific rules for the organisation of that information meeting.
The Government of Flanders shall appoint the advisory bodies that deliver opinions on permit applications.
The opinion of the bench of Mayor and Aldermen or the municipal environmental official on the jurisdiction to which the permit application relates shall always be obtained if the deputation or the Government of Flanders is the competent authority, unless:
|1°||the application was submitted by the bench concerned;|
|2°||the application only relates to mobile or movable classified facilities or activities.|
In cases specified by the Government of Flanders, the competent authority, stated in Article 15, asks the municipal, provincial or regional environmental officer or the person authorised by him, the opinion of the provincial or regional Environment Permit Committee, stated in Article 16, § 1. The provincial or regional Environment Permit Committee shall ask the advisory bodies stated in article 24, subparagraph 1 and, where applicable, the bench of Mayor and Aldermen or the municipal environmental official stated in article 24, subparagraph 2 for their opinion.
If no opinion is required from an Environment Permit Committee stated in article 16, §1, the competent authority stated in article 15 asks the municipal, provincial or regional environmental official or the person authorised by him to consult the advisory bodies and, where applicable, the board of Mayor and Aldermen or the municipal environmental official stated in article 24 for their opinion.
If, in application of subparagraph 1, the opinion of an Environment Permit Committee as stated in article 16, § 1 is required, the advisory bodies and, where applicable, the bench of Mayor and Aldermen or the municipal environmental official stated in article 24 shall deliver their opinion to the Environment Permit Committee. This committee shall deliver an integrated opinion
The Government of Flanders shall establish the time limits for delivering opinions and can determine the elements to which such opinions must relate.
If no opinion is delivered within the established time limit, the opinion shall be deemed to be favourable.
The permit applicant can ask to be heard by the provincial or regional Environment Permit Committee.
If the project involves retail activities requiring a permit with a net commercial area of more than 20,000 square meters, located at a distance of less than 20 kilometres from another region or from various other regions, and the mayor and aldermen or deputation is the competent authority, the municipal or provincial environmental officer informs the Government of Flanders of this with a secured dispatch, with a view to the fulfilment of the obligations included in Article 6, § 5bis, of the special law of 8 August 1980 on the reform of the institutions.
Unless the environmental impact assessment or the regional safety report has already been approved and is still current, the division responsible for environmental impact assessments and safety reports shall publish its decision on whether to approve or reject this assessment in application of article 4.3.8, § 3 and article 4.5.7, § 3 of the DABM.
If the division responsible for environmental impact assessments and safety reports rejects the environmental impact assessment or the regional safety report, the licensing procedure shall ipso jure be stopped.
If the council of mayor and aldermen is the competent authority, and no advice from an Environment Permit committee is required, the municipal environmental officer prepares a report for every decision on a permit application, which is part of the permit file. Where appropriate, the report assesses the application against the grounds for assessment determined by or pursuant to:
|1°||title IV of the VCRO;|
|2°||title V of the DABM;|
|3°||he decree of 15 July concerning the integral trade establishment policy.|
|4°||the decree of 21 October 1997 on nature conservation and the natural environment;|
Where appropriate, the report shall include a proposed response to the positions, comments and objections submitted during any public inquiry.
The municipal environmental officer makes this report available to the board of the Mayor and Aldermen at the latest ten days before the expiry of the confirmed or, where appropriate, extended decision period. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen will indicate in their reasoning for the decision how the report will be taken into account. If no report is made within the confirmed or, where appropriate, extended period, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen may disregard the requirement for a report.
Paragraph 1 applies mutatis mutandis to the deputation and the provincial environmental officer.
After the public inquiry referred to in Article 23, the competent authority referred to in Article 15 may, at the request of the license applicant, allow changes to be made to the permit request.
The request of the permit applicant enables the competent authority to assess whether the changes do any harm to the protection of humans or the environment or good spatial planning.
If the competent authority allows changes to be made to the permit application, a public inquiry into the modified permit application will be organised if one of the following conditions is met:
|1°||the changes do not concur with the advice or the positions, comments and objections submitted during the public inquiry;|
|2°||the changes apparently violate the rights of third parties.|
If a public inquiry is organised regarding the amended permit application, the competent authority will, where appropriate, obtain the advice of the competent Environment Permit Committee, as stated in Article 16, § 1, or the opinions as stated in Article 24, as yet or a second time.
If the application involves the construction, modification, relocation or closure of a municipal road, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, where appropriate at the request of the competent authority, referred to in Article 15, will convene the municipal council to decide on the construction, modification, relocation or cancellation of the municipal road.
The municipal council decides on the location, width and equipment of the municipal road, and on possible inclusion in the public domain. In doing so, the objectives and principles stated in Articles 3 and 4 of the Decree of 3 May 2019 on municipal roads are taken into account, and, where appropriate, with the municipal policy framework and assessment framework, stated in Article 6 of the Decree of 3 May 2019 regarding the municipal roads. In this regard, the municipal council may impose conditions and attach charges, which the competent authority will include in the eventual permit.
If the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is not the competent authority that decides on the application in first instance, the municipality will send the decision of the municipal council on the construction, modification, relocation or closure of the municipal road within sixty days after the request to the competent authority, stated in Article 15.