Public Access to Beaches Threatened

A Swedish law protecting public access to beaches is being skirted at an alarming rate, Swedish Radio News reports.

The law has been in place since the 1950s, and prohibits the building of structures within 100 meters of the shoreline of lakes or the sea. But legal exemptions can be sought.

Last year, 5,000 applications for exemptions were filed—and 95% were approved.

Jan Darpö, associate professor of environmental law at Uppsala University, says that the exemptions fly in the face “of the intentions of the [original] legislation.”

Initially, county administrative boards had to approve the exemptions, but new legislation has placed that responsibility with local authorities.

This will only increase the exemptions, says Jan Darpö.

“The local authorities can now do whatever they want…and no one can complain.”

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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