Less building activity along the coast and inland water courses


The building activity within 100 meters of the coastline and inland water courses is decreasing. However, there are considerable variations between counties and municipalities.

Reduced construction in the coastal zone

Overall, the general trend, since 2006, is a reduction in building activity within 100 meters of the Norwegian coastline. The most important reduction in the number of building works started is to be found in the counties of Hordaland and Sør-Trøndelag. Only Aust-Agder differs from the other counties with an increase over the same period. It is mostly dwellings in built-up areas and holiday properties (cottages) outside built-up areas that represent the building works in the coastal zone.

The access to the coastal zone is reducing

Despite the reduction in construction activities, the accessible areas within the coastal zone are still shrinking. During the last 10 years, the accessible areas for outdoor recreation in the coastal zone have gone down by 2.1 per cent on a national scale. In the south of Norway (from Østfold to Hordaland), the accessible areas in the coastal zone went down by 3.7 per cent in the same period. However, during the last two years the yearly decrease of accessible areas has declined.

More construction activities along the coast than along the water courses

In July 2009, a new Planning and Building Act entered into force. The new law includes a paragraph on prohibition against construction activities in the coastal zone and along water courses. This differs from the old law, where water courses were not included. As a result, Statistics Norway is publishing statistics for the water courses as well. These statistics indicate higher construction activities along the coastal zone compared to the water courses. In 2010, 26 per cent of the coastline was within a hundred meters of a building, while only 7 per of the water courses were within the same distance of a building.

Dispensations for construction

The number of approved dispensations for construction also indicates the higher building activity along the coast compared to the activity along the water courses. The approval of a dispensation will not necessarily result in new build work the same year, but in the years to come. In 2009, 900 applications for construction activities were approved compared with 812 in 2008. The corresponding numbers for water courses are 173 in 2009 and 215 in 2008. The statistics from KOSTRA indicate that more of the applications for construction activities along the water courses are approved (70 per cent) compared with 6 per cent for the coastal zones.

Source: Statistics Norway

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