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Planning in Norway

The Planning and Building Act

The Planning and Building Act is a tool for safeguarding the public interest and managing land use. Planning pursuant to the Act shall ensure sustainable development for the whole country and that it is open to all to take part in decisions that concern their surroundings.

The structure of the Act:

Part one: Common provisions
Part two: The planning part
Part three: Implementation
Part four: Building applications
Part five: Provisions on enforcement and fees
Part six: Final provisions

The structure of the Act makes it easy to use and understand. The common provisions part applies to both the planning part and the building applications part of the Act. The common provisions include the purpose of the Act, the scope of the Act, prohibition against building projects along the seashore and river systems and requirements relating to basic map data, geodata etc. The Act applies to the whole country extending one nautical mile (1,852 metres) beyond the baselines of the territorial sea. It does not apply to major power lines or offshore pipelines.

The planning part is divided such that the first chapters set out basic provisions relating to functions, authority, tools and participation in the planning. This is followed by detailed provisions on plans and consideration of plans at the national, regional and municipal level. The requirement for environmental impact assessments of plans is incorporated into the provisions on the individual types of plan, while environmental impact assessments of conservation plans and projects pursuant to other legislation are described in a separate chapter. The provisions on dispensation are set out in the third part of the Act.

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