Introduction of permit requirement Oude Hoogstraat, Nieuwe Hoogstraat, Damstraat and Oude Doelenstraat
It is important that affected shopkeepers voice their opinions on the draft designation of 25 January 2021. If the mayor makes the designation final, then objections and appeals can be made against the designation decision. The decision must be of high-quality. The decision must also include specific grounds to justify the licence requirement.
The obligation to obtain a licence is very far-reaching. It gives the mayor the opportunity to subject shopkeepers to financial investigation, and to see if they have recently been in trouble with the law. A Bibob-test would be part of the application procedure.
When applying for the licence, shopkeepers would also be expected to submit a business plan. Requirements would also be set for the operator and manager. They may not, for example, be of ‘bad living behaviour’ (‘slecht levensgedrag’)
The mayor could refuse the licence if, in her opinion, there would be a detrimental effect on the living environment or public order and safety, or, for other reasons, there was subversion by the business. Business practices that are in violation of the Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wet arbeid vreemdeling) and the Opium Act (Opiumwet) could also be considered in the refusal.
In short, the designation and the obligation to obtain a licence have far-reaching consequences for the shopkeepers concerned. If a business owner does not meet the requirements set by the mayor, they may be prohibited from continuing their business activities.
Since the mayor’s authority interferes with the ability of a business to operate freely and affects the legal certainty of business owners, this must be handled very carefully.
Assistance from a specialised lawyer
Blenheim’s administrative lawyers have extensive experience in challenging these types of decisions, as well as assisting business owners with licensing procedures and Bibob investigations. Blenheim would be happy to assist you in drafting an opinion and, if necessary, to guide you through the various procedures.