FFE Magazine

No more stop-and-go for Denmark’s noisy Construction?

by FFE EU News staff

Since Metroselskabet started construction of the subway expansion in Copenhagen, many residents have successfully filed complaints against the noise. But the city council has grown tired of the periodic halts to construction. Their solution: change the law.

The law firm Plesner said that the city council can make a new regulation based on the Environmental Protection Act that would give them direct control of the construction since they own 50% of Metroselskabet. Under the current system called forskrift, the construction can be halted while complaints to environmental appeals board Natur-og Miljøklagenævnet are being heard.

Plesner said ‘Handling subway construction in the city through regulation could prevent the stop-and-go caused by appeals.’ However, the firm revealed that doing so can deprive residents nearby of ‘a certain degree of legal certainty.’

Environment law professor Ellen Basse said this move can strip residents living near the construction site of their rights. She added that the council shouldn’t use its position to create new rules to solve problems.

The professor added that ‘It is not the purpose of the Environmental Protection Act – which would form the basis of any new regulations – to weaken citizens’ protection against noise.

‘On the contrary, the rules are there to protect the neighbours.’

City council member Klaus Mygind, who also sits in Metroselskabet’s board of directors, said the move would send the wrong signals to the residents. He said ‘It will be perceived as if we are trying to deny residents of their rights.’

Both Metroselskabet and the council want construction to continue through the night to keep to the timetable and prevent cost overruns.

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