Field hospitals to be exempted from building permit requirement due to COVID-19
The Government is proposing temporary exemptions to allow field hospitals and temporary buildings to be constructed if the spread of a disease that poses a threat to society means that health and medical care facilities are insufficient to meet the need for care. A proposal entitled ‘Exemptions from the Planning and Building Act in the event of the spread of a disease that poses a threat to society’ was referred to the Council on Legislation.
On Thursday 26 March, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning presented a written communication to the Government Offices in which it pointed to a need to amend the Planning and Building Act to make it easier for government agencies, regions and municipalities to manage the current pandemic.
Under the Planning and Building Act, building permits may be required to build field hospitals or to arrange care places in buildings ordinarily used for some other purpose. Building permits may also be required to erect tents and other temporary buildings that are needed due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, for example adjacent to hospitals and health centres.
“The building permit requirements must not delay or obstruct the regions’ efforts to arrange care places. This is why the Government is now proposing a legislative amendment. Under the proposal, the Government would be able to decide on exemptions to the Planning and Building Act to manage COVID-19,” says Minister for Financial Markets and Housing Per Bolund.
Under the proposal, the Government would also be able to decide on exemptions to several other requirements in the Planning and Building Act, including the requirement that buildings be designed and placed taking account of certain public interests. Exemptions will also be possible from the requirement that a building must comply with what has been decided in a municipal detailed development plan.
It is proposed that the legislative amendment enter into force on 1 May 2020. The Government's regulations could also be applied retroactively. This means that the exemptions would also cover temporary buildings that might already have been built without a building permit.