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Document no. 3:7 (2001-2002) - Building in the 100-metre belt along the shoreline

In the period from 1982 to 1999, 8,100 new buildings were approved inside the 100-metre belt along the shoreline in the Oslofjord area and in Aust-Agder. This development has taken place despite the fact that since 1965 there has been a general ban on construction inside the 100-metre belt, inter alia to give the public access to coastal areas.
Published 2/28/2002 12:00 PM

This appears in the Office of the Auditor General’s report on building within 100 metres of the shoreline (Document no. 3:7 (2001-2002)), which was submitted to the Storting 14. February. The objective of the report is to document the extent of development resulting from exemptions from the building ban and to shed light on how current policy instruments function.

In the period from 1982 to 1999, 1.6 % of the total area within the 100-metre belt (5,539 decares) and 1.2 % of the total shoreline (69 km) in the Oslofjord area and Aust Agder have been developed. As of 1 January 2000, the buildings in the shore zones occupy 43 % of the 100-metre belt and 29 % of the shoreline from the Swedish border up to and including Aust-Agder.

The new buildings have been approved because the law provides for exemptions to the ban. It is mostly left to the municipalities to decide the extent of development. The Office of the Auditor General has also uncovered major differences in shoreline development from municipality to municipality. In areas covered by zoning plans or municipal master plans, the building ban does not apply. Municipalities may also grant dispensation from the building ban in individual cases.

Much of this development has been in the form of increasing density, which may have resulted in reduced access by the public to the coastal zone. There are also plans for additional development within the 100-metre belt. During the past five years, 25 of 35 municipalities in the Oslofjord area and Aust-Agder have had plans for development inside the 100-metre belt.

Since 1999 the Ministry of the Environment has implemented several measures to counter construction in the coastal zone. The minister of the environment has stated that he will also require the county governors to more actively consider stopping plans that allow building in the coastal zone.

This report is available in Norwegian at the Office of the Auditor General’s website,, or can be ordered from the University bookshop Akademika, tel. +47 22 11 67 70.

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