Government expert agencies and the county authorities may make objections to planning proposals for the purpose of safeguarding national or regional interests.

Neighbouring municipalities are entitled to make objections when the plan affects important conditions there. An objection must be justified and be submitted as soon as possible. It shall include a description of the central government guidelines that form the basis for the objection. Most objections concern conflicts between the municipality’s wishes and needs and overriding interests relating to land use.

If the municipality does not take the objection into account, the county governor shall mediate. If the objection remains in force after the municipal council has considered the plan, the municipal council’s planning decision is not final. The matter must then be sent to the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation for decision. The ministry’s decisions cannot be appealed.

When land use plans are found to violate national or important regional interests, central government and regional authorities may make objections to the plans. The proportion of plans subject to objection is increasing. Objections were made to approximately 52 per cent of all municipal master plans in 2011, and to 33 per cent of zoning plans. The figures for 2010 were 48 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively.

The majority of the objections are resolved locally through the planning process, either through negotiations in the planning forums established for coordination in planning matters in the county authorities, or through mediation by the county governor. Every year, between one and two per cent of the total number of plans are decided by the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. The number in 2011 was 24. These cases nonetheless often involve important matters of principle, which express the Government’s land use policy in different areas.

Topics that have been the subject of particular conflict in the municipal master plans have been matters relating to the shore zone alongside the sea and fresh water, location of national trunk roads, soil conservation, securing of habitats for wild reindeer, cultural heritage sites/monuments, outdoor pursuits and landscape, reindeer husbandry and matters relating to shopping centres.

Objections to municipal planning sent to the ministy 2000-2014. Objections to municipal planning sent to the ministy 2000-2014.

Decisions by the ministry 2005–2014.

Decisions by the ministry 2005–2014. From above Blue: Objection not accepted. Green: Objection partly accepted. Red: Objection accepted. Change of government in 2013.