Building additional infrastructure and lodging facilities at Kerlingarfjöll mountains in the Southern Highlands would have a negative impact on the current planning policy for the area, RÚV reports. This is stated by the National Planning Agency in its assessment of four different plans for infrastructure development at the popular tourist site. The Agency expressed its belief that further development would place environmental strain on the area and could have significant negative impacts.
Kerlingarfjöll was recently placed on the Environment Agency’s Red List of natural areas at considerable risk. It is not officially designated as a protected area. The company Fannborg, which operates tourism in the area, proposed four different options for infrastructure development at Kerlingarfjöll to the National Planning Agency. While the first option focuses on improving existing structures in the area, the other three involve additional construction and development. The third and fourth options, in particular, would increase the amount of lodging to accommodate nearly 300 guests and make the area one of the largest accommodation establishments outside of the capital area.
The Planning Agency considers the third and fourth options to both negatively impact visitors’ experience of nature in the area, as well as put additional strain the environment by increasing the number of visitors. While option two involves a minimal increase in accommodations for visitors, it is considered to have a minimal impact on the surrounding environment.