Disposal of Soil on Heath outside Reykjavík Illegal Skip to content

Disposal of Soil on Heath outside Reykjavík Illegal

By Iceland Review

The Complaints Board for urban planning and development has ruled that the decision made by Reykjavík City in November 2007 to enlarge a disposal area for soil on Hólmsheidi heath outside the capital, some of which was polluted, was illegal.

In November 2007, Reykjavík City Council decided that the 20-hectare disposal area on Hólmsheidi would be enlarged by 13 hectares and that 2.5 million cubic meters of soil, excavated to construct buildings in the capital, could be disposed of in addition to the 1.5 million cubic meters which were agreed on in 2001, Fréttabladid reports.

In 2001, the permission for disposal of soil on Hólmsheidi was granted, provided it would not contain any pollutants. Last winter thousands of cubic meters of oil-polluted soil from the construction site of Reykjavík University in Öskjuhlíd was disposed of on Hólmsheidi.

A landowner on Hólmsheidi sued Reykjavík City for enlarging the disposal area, arguing that view had been blocked and landscape been spoiled for many summer houses on the heath. Reykjavík City however claimed the soil disposal had created shelter from the wind and thus increased the value of summer houses near the disposal area.

The Complaints Board concluded that the area in question, which is known as “The Green Scarf,” is defined as an area reserved for forestation and outdoor recreation and that soil disposal does not coincide with that definition.

The decision made in November 2007 to enlarge the disposal area and increase the volume of soil which could be disposed of there was thus ruled illegal and the operational permit was annulled.

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