The municipal planning process and consideration of the planning strategy, the social element and the land use element

The Planning and Building Act contains provisions on how plans shall be presented in terms of their content, process, arrangements for participation and clarification of conflicts and disagreement.

Municipal planning strategy

The municipal planning strategy shall be adopted by the municipal council during the first year of the new electoral term. The municipality shall obtain the views of public agencies affected by this work, and arrangements shall be made for broad participation and public debate upon which consideration shall be based. Draft resolutions of the municipal council shall be made public at least 30 days before their consideration.

Planning programmes

Planning programmes shall be drawn up for all municipal master plans. The planning programme shall explain the objectives of the planning work, the planning process and the arrangements for public participation. Assessment of impacts on the environment and society and highlighting of alternatives in the planning work shall be considered. The municipality is responsible for carrying out an environmental impact assessment, if applicable.

Draft planning programme

The draft planning programme shall be sent for consultation and circulated for comment over a period of at least six weeks. It is important that central government and regional authorities, and other parties if relevant, provide clear feedback if the plan may come into conflict with important national or regional considerations. It has a bearing on the right to raise objections later in the process. The municipal council has the authority to adopt the planning programme, but this authority may be delegated to another political body or the municipal administration.

Planning proposal

The planning proposal (social element or land use element) shall be sent for consultation and circulated for comment, announced in at least one newspaper that is commonly read in the locality and made available through electronic media. The deadline for issuing statements and making objections to the municipal master plan shall be at least six weeks. This is the point where central government, regional authorities and other parties may raise objections. Private persons may make comments on the draft.

The municipal council adopts the municipal master plan. If the municipal council wishes to make changes to plans that have not been sent for consultation or circulated for comment, they must be subject to renewed consideration. The plan shall be announced when it has been adopted. It is not possible to appeal against the municipal council’s decision regarding the land use element of the municipal master plan, in contrast with decisions regarding zoning plans, which can be appealed.