Amendments to the Planning Act - conclusion of political agreement 

On 9 June 2016, a political agreement was concluded between the Government, the People's Party, the Conservative Party and the Social Democrats concerning an amendment of the Planning Act. Based on this agreement, the Government will present a bill in October 2016 with the effect that the amendments may come into force on 1 January 2017.

The agreement implements part of the content of the Government's growth programme "Vækst og udvikling i hele Danmark" from November 2015 announcing a liberalisation of the Planning Act. However, far from all the Government's proposed amendments are found in the agreement.

Planning along the coasts

In the growth programme, the intention was to abolish the special zones near the coast that require special interest when planning within the zone, and a change of the rule on prohibition against changes within the beach protection zone. Further, there was a wish to establish new summer house areas near the coast (by way of a national planning directive) and another 15 test projects concerning coast and nature tourism.
The agreement maintains the zones near the coast and the prohibition against changes within the beach protection zone. However, the requirement for exemption concerning the beach protection zone will be abolished in relation to minor instalments, which are permitted today under the administrative practice. In the future, there will be no requirement for applications for exemption.
The agreement provides the opportunity to establish new summer house areas within zones near to the coast - up to 6,000 summer houses - provided that 5,000 existing undeveloped sites in the zone near the coast are reversed.

Rural districts

The agreement contains new possibilities of development within the rural districts, including for instance the use of empty buildings as it will be possible to use other buildings than redundant farms, for instance schools, for other purposes without a rural zone permission. The square metres in relation to rebuilding/extension of year-round residences without a rural zone permission will be increased from 250 to 500.

Retailing

The maximum square metres for stores with shopping goods of 2,000 m2 will be abolished with the effect that these stores are subject to the same rules irrespective of the size of the city/town.  Further, it is suggested to relax the list of special space-consuming goods. The current limitations in the size of store with shopping goods are abolished.

Planning of social housing

In the growth programme from November 2015, the Government suggested to roll back the possibility of demanding that up to 25 % of all housing in a local area must be social housing in connection with the local planning. However, the political agreement does not contain an agreement to abolish this option to lay down local plans for social housing, and it will thus still be an option for the municipalities.

contacts

Henriette Soja

Partner

Marie Bockhahn

Senior Attorney