Council of State: Hilversum is allowed to ban New Year's fireworks
The municipality of Hilversum is allowed to ban the lighting of fireworks in part of the city center over New Year's, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday. This ruling by the highest court in the Netherlands means that no further appeals are possible, NU.nl reports.
Fireworks traders tried to stop the ban by turning to the Council of State. They fear that the partial ban will result in fewer fireworks being sold, and therefore a loss of revenue. They also argued that the mayor and aldermen do not have the jurisdiction to impose such a ban and that they are acting against the Fireworks Decree, which provides guidelines on when and where fireworks are allowed to be sold.
The Council of State disagreed. According to the judge, the college of mayor and aldermen is authorized to impose a ban on lighting fireworks. The ban is also not contrary to the national Fireworks Decree - the decree contains guidelines on where and when fireworks can be sold, but nothing on where they may be lit. The court recognized that the fireworks traders are disadvantaged by the ban, but according to the judge, the financial loss is not so great that it should be decisive in whether or not the ban should be imposed.
The fireworks ban in Hilversum applies to part of the Langgewenst in the city center. Between 6:00 p.m. on December 31st and 2:00 a.m. on January 1st, no fireworks may be lit in this area. Outside these times, the lighting of fireworks is banned everywhere in the Netherlands.
Last year, shortly before New Year's, the Council of State already ruled that the ban was permitted. But due to the rush, no filing ruling was made. This is now the final ruling.