Proposed beach bill causes Green stir

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) is critical against the government’s proposed bill on public access to beaches. According to minister for the Environment, Andreas Carlgren, the bill will make it easier to develop beaches inland and in sparsely populated areas, while at the same time toughening the rules on highly exploited coastal sites.

Today there is a ban on building closer than 100 m from the shoreline. This won’t change with the new bill. Instead, it specifies when special dispensation should be given, for instance when the build is an extension of an already existing structure. 

In accordance with Swedish tradition, a strip of 25 m along the shoreline will still be open to the public, even if the beach protection in the area has been suspended.

Critics in both environmental agencies and within the Opposition say that the bill concentrates more on these dispensations than increasing the protection of the country’s beaches.  In that sense they feel that it is a let down on the promises made by the minister for Environment from last autumn.

The bill will be handed to the Council on Legislation before it goes before the Swedish Parliament, and is meant to come in to effect by 1 July.

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