Chamber: Stockholm's nature reserves hinder housing growth

2:59 min

The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce says that nature reserves in the capital are blocking the construction of sorely needed homes.

It claims that 100,000 new homes could be built in parts of protected parks and forests, which the organization considers less valuable.

"Nature reserves with limited 'nature value' place a dead hand on the land and block [the construction of] homes. Politicians need to prioritize home construction right now, instead of nature reserves," Daniella Waldfogel, the chamber's business policy expert, told Swedish Television News.

"The choice is between giving people a roof over their heads and establishing more nature reserves," she added.

According to a report published Tuesday by the chamber, during the past 20 years 35,000 hectares, (more than 86,000 acres), in the Stockholm region were protected in nature reserves, while 7,000 hectares, (more than 17,000 acres), was used to build homes.

"A whole 100,000 homes can be built in parts of seventeen nature reserves in Stockholm County, which would be a welcome housing addition. It's time to take away the rights of municipalities to establish new nature reserves. New housing should be a national interest in a Stockholm affected by the housing crisis," said Waldfogel.