The town plan comprises the total area of the municipality: towns, settlements and the open country and the part of the inland ice within the municipal boundaries.
The town plan lays down the following general provisions, which apply to the whole municipality, i.e. all subareas in the whole of Kommune Qegertalik. The general provisions are binding unless otherwise specified in the overall provisions applying to the individual subareas. The general provisions are binding on the municipal council’s planning and administration of area use.
The town plan is to lay down overall provisions for all subareas in the municipality as well as detailed town plan provisions, which determine the guidelines for the physical activities and subsequent planning:
- Pursuant to Greenland Parliament Act no. 17 of 17 November 2010 on planning and area use, a number of general overall provisions are laid down.
- The overall provisions applicable to the individual subareas are included in the main structure.
- The detailed provisions must not contradict the overall provisions.
The general provisions apply to all of the municipality’s subareas in towns, settlements and the open country. Being general, the provisions do not consider local conditions in subareas. The objective of such provisions is to provide citizens with fundamental, uniform basic provisions with uniform terms and conditions throughout all towns, settlements and the open country. General provisions set out common guidelines for the specific planning and land administration in all towns, settlements and the open country. For each subarea in towns, settlements and the open country, specific overall provisions also apply, and these are adapted to local conditions and needs and, in many cases, supplemented by special provisions regarding preservation, views and lines of sight etc.
Detailed provisions aim to elaborate the town plan’s overall provisions and specify what is permitted within a delimited subarea. As a consequence, detailed provisions cannot be specified for activities that contradict the overall provisions. Detailed provisions are to be prepared before area allotment can be granted for major or significant civil engineering works and before demolition of major or significant buildings.
The delimitation of subareas has been decided on in accordance with their primary use. The subareas in towns are denoted according to categories A-E, whereas the subareas in the open country are denoted according to categories K-O. The categories are as follows:
General provisions exist for each individual area types as well as general provisions covering aspects applicable to all area types.
General provisions for area types A-E:
The delimitation of subareas is determined in accordance with their primary use.
A: Residential areas
Residential areas include existing and new residential areas. The main structure lays out areas for different housing types and associated common facilities such as parking areas, leisure areas and children’s play areas.
Open-low housing means single-family houses and two-family houses/semi-detached houses with no more than two storeys. A single-family house includes one dwelling and a two-family house includes two dwellings.
In connection with open-low residential housing, an area for a garden, open terrace and the like of a maximum of 50 m2 in direct connection with the dwelling can be granted.
In close connection to the individual dwelling, permission may be granted for the construction of garages, carports, outbuildings, green houses, winter gardens, roofed terraces and similar with a total maximum area of 30 m2, as long as the building regulation distance requirements for the area are respected. As a maximum, a terrace of 50 m² may be established near a house, of which 30 m² may be covered.
Area allotment for gardens, patios, garages, annexes, etc. may be granted if the terrain, threshold distance for buildings and roads, fire safety distances and the view from neighbouring houses so permit.
Dense-low residential housing
Dense-low residential housing means terraced houses, linked houses and cluster houses with no more than three storeys, corresponding to two full floors with a habitable attic.
In connection with dense-low residential housing, an area for a garden, open terrace or the like of a maximum of 25 m2 per dwelling in direct connection with the dwelling may be granted.
In connection with a dwelling in dense-low residential areas, permission may be granted for garages, carports, outbuildings, green houses, winter gardens, roofed terraces and similar with a total area of no more than 20 m2 as long as the building regulation distance requirements and the provisions of the subarea plan for the area in question are observed.
Area allotment for gardens, patios, garages, annexes, etc. may be granted if the terrain, threshold distance for buildings and roads, fire safety distances and the view from neighbouring houses so permit.
Residential multi-storey buildings
Residential multi-storey buildings are blocks of flats, parallel blocks of flats and tower blocks with three storeys or more.
Mixed residential areas
Mixed residential areas are defined as areas with a mixture of open-low, dense-low and residential multi-storey buildings.
In areas with residential multi-storey buildings, areas may be laid out for gardens if the municipal council deems it possible and consistent with any other purpose for the area, and if the overall area potential of the individual subarea is maintained.
In connection with the establishment of residential housing, areas are to be laid out for children’s playgrounds. An area allotment may require that the playgrounds be established before the dwellings are occupied.
Unbuilt areas in residential areas
Unbuilt areas which have not been laid out for other purposes are to be laid out and used as common open space only.
The use of unbuilt areas is subject to the regulations and by-laws on storage of boats and keeping of cats and dogs in Kommune Qegertalik. The placing of containers is regulated through area allotment.
Other activities in residential areas
The municipal council may permit that businesses which can usually be operated in residential areas be established in areas for residential purposes when the following conditions are fulfilled:
- The company, including signposting and illumination, can be run without obstructing the nature of the area as a residential area.
- The company is not allowed to cause any inconvenience to its neighbours, e.g. in the form of smoke and odour nuisances.
- The company is not allowed to cause a significant increase in the demand for parking space.
- The company is not allowed to prevent the establishment of a childcare centre in the area.
- Regardless of the provisions in any previous local plans and town plans it is thus possible to set up a business in residential areas based on the above.
In residential areas, free spaces, tenant’s houses, houses for common activities, childcare centres, local shops and technical utility plants supplying the area may be built.
Measures must be taken to ensure that access to the individual dwellings in residential areas is appropriate in terms of, e.g., water supply and day-time refuse collection.
A distinction is made between industry areas and areas for industry and port. Common to both type B areas is their dependence on direct access to the primary road network.
Areas for industrial purposes can be used for offices, construction groups, warehouses and storehouses, skilled trade, workshops, production facilities, transport, industry, storage, wholesale trade and technical supply plants.
Areas for industry and ports
Areas for industry and/or port purposes can be used for office, construction groups, warehouses and storehouses, skilled trade, workshop, production facilities, transport, industry, storage, wholesale trade, wharfs and piers, shipbuilding yards, terminal functions and technical supply plants.
Measures are to be taken to limit any smoke, noise, dust and odour nuisances.
In type B areas, it is possible to establish companies with special requirements to location, including heavily polluting companies (part 5 companies). In each case, measures are to be taken to prevent environmental impacts on surroundings, including waste water, disposal of oil, chemicals and metal waste.
Moreover, storage and the like can be provided by means of containers, equipment and material etc., but the establishment of landfill sites and rubbish dumps etc. is prohibited.
In centre areas, urban functions can be established such as shops, liberal professions (advertising agencies, IT companies, lawyers, architects, engineers, real estate agents, accountants and the like), clinics (dentists, chiropodists, psychologists and the like), service trades, public administration, homes, hotel, restaurant, parking and necessary technical supply plants and the like. Moreover, trade industries such as garages, warehouses, transport and the like which are not damaging to the environment are allowed.
Unbuilt areas which have not been laid out for other purposes can be laid out and used as common free areas only, and their appearance must be consistent with the location and use of the area.
Common purposes comprise schools/educational institutions, institutions for children and young persons and senior citizens, churches, public administration, homes, cultural purposes, leisure and recreational purposes, parking space and necessary technical supply plants and the like.
Unbuilt areas which have not been laid out for other purposes can be laid out and used as public free spaces only, and their appearance must be consistent with the location and use of the area.
Unbuilt areas are areas which have not been built on and are used for recreational purposes – for instance, scenic areas close to towns, common open spaces, green areas/parks, areas for keeping dogs and similar.
Areas for recreational purposes
Areas for recreational purposes comprise functions such as sports centres, skiing areas, marinas, shooting ranges, campsites, museums and exhibition areas, cemeteries and the like.
Nothing can be built on unbuilt areas and areas for recreational purposes except for buildings which are necessary for the use and operation of the area. This does not prevent the construction of the roads, paths, piping systems, electrical supply systems and technical installations such as telecommunications system, navigation system, technical observation systems, utilities and minor plants required in order to use the areas for fishing, sealing and whaling and other recreational purposes which have been laid down in the main structure.
Moreover, it is possible to plan for the location of hotels and cottage parks in type D areas in connection with recreational areas of tourist interests and for Infrastructure facilities.
The scenic and recreational value of the areas is to be maintained.
Areas for technical supply plants and other infrastructure are often subject to part 5 of the Environmental Protection Act or involve safety risks to the adjoining areas. In each case, measures are to be taken to prevent environmental impacts on the surroundings, including waste water, disposal of oil, chemicals and metal waste.
Technical supply plants
The areas comprise major technical supply plants such as waterworks, dumps, night-time refuse collection, tanks for oil, telecommunications systems, disposal site for explosive materials, quarries, waste incineration plants and the like.
In connection with technical supply plants (waterworks, dumps, night-time refuse collection etc.), minor buildings such as site huts of up to 20 m2 and with a maximum ridge height of six metres are allowed, provided that the building regulation distance requirements and the provisions of the subarea plan for the area in question are observed.
In subareas zoned for technical purposes such as waste management and the like, areas and facilities for sorting at source and recycling may be set up, and incineration plants and related functions and buildings may be established.
In subareas zoned for technical purposes in the shape of night soil, areas and facilities may be set up for wastewater management, treatment and discharge, as well as related functions and buildings.
The above is to be implemented in accordance with current sector plans, regulations etc., as well as the provisions for the specific subarea and rules in force (area allotment, building regulations and other relevant legislation).
The Government of Greenland may approve the collection and quarrying of stone, gravel and the like to be used locally as road and construction materials, according to the rules of sections 46 and 47 of the Minerals Resources Act. The Government of Greenland may stipulate terms for utilisation. The municipal council may grant area allotments according to these rules.
The areas comprise large infrastructure facilities such as airports, heliports, permanent port facilities, large road systems, tunnels, aerial cable ways and the like.
General provisions applicable to all area types
Regulated zones are defined by the relevant authorities either in order to protect technical supply facilities or to protect the drinking water.
Provisions regarding protection zones or safety zones around, e.g., catchment areas, telephone poles, explosives stores, tank farms, ports, airports, heliports etc. are to be observed. Areas falling within these zones cannot be developed or used for other purposes unless exemption has been granted by the responsible authority. Necessary operation plants are excluded from the above.
Development or use for other purposes of the areas falling within these zones is subject to permission from the responsible authority.
The delimitation of each zone appears from the main structure and the overall provisions applicable to the subarea in question.
For further information on regulated zones, please contact Asiaq (Greenland Survey). Specific themes are available at www.nunagis.gl.
The primary use is laid down for each subarea. The future area use is to be in accordance with the main structure and the primary main purpose is to be maintained for the individual subareas even if other use is permitted.
In connection with area allotment, the municipal council may lay down further terms and conditions regarding the occupation and use of areas.
In case of changes to the use of an area, a new area allotment must be applied for.
Areas in towns and settlements which are not laid out for buildings or plants and are not covered by an area allotment for other purposes are treated as unbuilt areas. Unbuilt areas must remain untouched or unspoiled and tidy without any stored items and waste. Burning of waste is not allowed and the use of unbuilt areas is not allowed to result in any nuisance to others.
Public access to unbuilt areas is to be ensured.
Areas which have been used temporarily in connection with building and civil engineering works are to be restored and remain unspoiled.
In addition, the municipal council may require that the unbuilt area be designed so as to ensure consistency between the location of the area and its appearance in the town.
Subject to prior application, area allotment may be granted for fencing in unbuilt areas
with a fence of up to 1.8 metres high in connection with industrial activities. Fences may be either wooden fences or wire fences. If the use of an area is deemed to endanger or cause a nuisance to its surroundings, the municipal council may require that a fence be put up.
Gardens and open spaces at dwellings may be fenced in with wooden fences of a maximum height of 1.2 metres or a wire fence of a maximum height of 1.8 metres around allotted areas.
Ground levelling and footing heights
As far as possible, new buildings are to adapt to the existing ground level. Changes to ground levels are permitted only if these are required to ensure a technically or financially sound execution of the building works. The municipal council may, however, demand ground levelling in connection with the construction of buildings to ensure that the area can be drained off. Basements are allowed only where this is naturally warranted by the ground level.
The height of footings and foundations is not allowed to be larger than what is required to keep the ground floor above ground level. A subarea plan may stipulate a maximum height for the footing above ground level.
Visible wooden foundations and square pad foundations are to be clad at gable ends and facades and painted. In certain cases, it may be required that concrete foundations and footings be clad like external walls to achieve a certain desired architectural expression.
Number of storeys and building heights
Storey number indicates the number of exploitable "layers", regardless roof shape. An usable attic is thus considered a storey. The number of storeys is counted in relation to the terrain as indicated in the following diagram.
(Kan ikke sætte billede ind) INDSÆT BILLEDE
1 storey 2 storeys 3 storeys
(Source: SBI Note 216: Building Regulation Codes 2008)
Each storey of the building, including the ground floor, is included in the number of storeys. Usable attics are also included in the number of storeys, where the knee wall height is less than 1 m and basements where the ceiling is more than 1.25 m above ground.
The maximum height of the building is given in the overall provisions of the individual subareas as the maximum height at the roof ridge (ridge height).
In the case of a basement located at level changes in terrain, the basement is generally not regarded as a storey if it is a minor clearance in natural terrain, whereas a larger clearance as a result of terrain differences will be regarded as a storey, as shown on the above diagram.
Areas laid out for roads and road building lines
New areas are to be connected to the road system and satisfactory access to the roads is to be established.
The road system consists of four categories of roads:
- Primary traffic roads – connecting the individual parts of a town. The roads are characterised by heavy and through traffic. Soft road users are separated. The roads are without building developments and the maximum permitted speed is 40 or 60 km/h.
- Secondary traffic roads – roads connecting the individual neighbourhoods of a part of a town. These roads are characterised by a lot of traffic, however, not as much heavy traffic. Soft road users are separated from heavy road users. The roads are without building developments and sometimes with limited access, and the maximum permitted speed is 40 or 50 km/h.
- Local roads – ensuring access to the individual subdivisions and ensuring good accessibility and security for all. The roads only serve local traffic and are therefore characterized by low or moderate traffic. Traffic groups can be mixed or separated. The maximum permitted speed is 30 km/h
- Closed roads – serves the local areas and individual housing, workplaces, institutions and shops and has little traffic. All traffic groups are mixed and roads be established as “play and leisure areas” with a maximum permitted speed limit of 15 km/h.
When planning and designing the road system, new roads to be connected should be roads of the same or similar/associated classes.
Areas laid out for roads
Areas laid out for roads include roadways, any pavements, ditches, cabling and storage of snow, etc. New roads are to – unless special circumstances warrant otherwise – be laid out in the following widths, including verges/ditches:
• Primary traffic roads: 25 metres
• Secondary traffic roads: 16 metres
• Local roads: 10 metres
• Closed roads: 6 metres
Primary and secondary roads appear from the main structure map of each town.
In settlements, areas for roads, wheel tracks etc. which – unless special circumstances warrant otherwise – are to be laid out in a width of 8 metres, including road verges/ditches and the like.
Road building lines
The detailed provisions are to, unless otherwise warranted by special circumstances, seek to define building lines along the large roads in the following distances from the middle of the road:
Primary traffic roads: 15 metres
Secondary traffic roads: 10 metres
Local roads: 7.5 metres
No-thoroughfare roads: 3.0 metres (roads providing access to a few homes).
The detailed provisions may always provide for road building lines with a larger distance from the middle of the road than the distances specified above.
The construction of other buildings or plants which may obstruct the operation of the road system, including snow clearing, repairs etc. is not allowed within the building lines.
New buildings and new functions are to include the necessary parking space. Unless otherwise specified by the detailed provisions of the town plan, the following minimum requirements are to apply:
- For single-family houses/terraced houses with individual parking: two parking spaces per house
- For single-family houses/terraced houses with common parking: one parking space per house
- Multi-storey buildings: a half parking space per flat
- Dormitories and the like: one parking space for each five dwellings
- Institutions: one parking space per 50 m2
- Office buildings: one parking space per 50 m2
- Factory and workshop buildings: one parking space per 50 m2
- Storage buildings: one parking space per 100 m2
- Restaurants and similar: one parking space for each 10 seats
- Grocery stores and specialised shops, kiosks and fast-food places: one parking space per 25 m2 of selling space
- Shops selling bulky commodities: one parking space per 100 m2
- Other buildings: to be decided on a case-to-case basis.
- As far as possible, parking space is to be provided near the building or plant in question. To the extent possible, the parking area is to be paved, and it is to be drained and kept tidy.
- When establishing common parking areas with more than 5 spaces there must be possible to establishing charging stations for electric cars.
The parking requirements appear from each specific area allotment, which may also include requirements about the number of parking spaces which are to be established before the building is occupied.
The municipal council may, where special conditions apply, dispense with the parking requirement in consideration of the use. The requirement may be tightened or eased in respect of the general provisions.
Sled tracks and paths
Sled tracks are to be protected to ensure a good connection from the built area to the hinterland, the sea ice and the catching areas. Sled tracks appear from the main structure map of the individual town or settlement.
Paths, steps and the system of paths are to allow for pedestrians to walk from one area to another. The primary system of paths appears from the main structure map of the individual town or settlement.
The construction of buildings and plants or placement of objects obstructing the use of sled tracks or paths is not allowed.
In the design of roads, paths, buildings and other facilities where citizens must have access, it should be ensured that accessibility for immobilised and disabled persons is as good as possible and that account is therefore taken of this.
The detailed planning must lay down provisions aimed at ensuring equal access possibilities for everyone, including the possibility of senior citizens and handicapped citizens to move about the entire urban area.
Technical supply plants
New buildings are to be connected to the grid, district heating network, water distribution network and the sewage system, provided that these have been routed and enabled.
In cases, where connection to the public sewerage is still not possible, the municipal council may require that a tank be installed for the collection of greywater and blackwater, or that other waste water treatment facilities be installed in accordance with existing environmental provisions and rules regarding the disposal of greywater and blackwater.
The individual house owner is required to ensure that greywater discharged into the ground will not create any nuisance to the neighbouring building or public traffic on roads and paths. Night soil can only be discharged provided that the health authorities have approved the specific sewer pipe, and provided that an environmental permit has been obtained. Emptying of night soil buckets into the ground or the port is not permitted except if emptying is from a disposal ramp.
Discharge of oil, petrol and chemicals into the ground, drains or ditches is not permitted.
Discharge of surface water, including roof water into the public sewage system is not allowed. It must be discharged in a way which ensures that no nuisance be created to the surrounding buildings, roads, paths and unbuilt areas.
Water, electricity and sewage pipes, television cables and the like are to be buried where possible. The area above utilities cannot be built up, unless special circumstances so requires.
If pipes and cables are routed across roads or paths, suitable crossings, steps, footbridges and the like are to be provided to ensure road traffic safety. The utility owner is entitled to demand that the piping or cabling be re-laid if the above is not observed. Any relaying of the piping system or electrical supply system is without any expense to the pipe/cable owner and is to comply with the regulations of the utility owner.
The detailed planning of new urban areas is to, as far as possible, determine the directions of electricity supply systems, water pipes and sewage pipes etc.
Preservation and conservation
The preservation and conservation interests include national conservation, landscaping and protected buildings, all of which are to be incorporated into the town plan. In addition, the town plan comprises the conservation areas designated on the basis of the yellow booklets, as well as the conservation-worthy buildings designated by the municipality.
Demolition, rebuilding or any other changes to preserved buildings and plants is not allowed unless prior approval of the change has been obtained from the Greenland National Museum. For a list of preserved buildings, see the Greenland National Museum.
Preserved areas in towns or settlement areas are to remain unchanged which means that changes to ground levels, plantation, construction of buildings or plants are not allowed unless prior permission has been obtained from the relevant conservation authority. For a list of preserved areas, see the planning forecast.
For a protected building, the owner must maintain the building, and both external and internal changes, large and small; require prior permission from the Cultural Heritage Council. The Greenland Government Act no. 11 of 19 May 2010 on preservation and other heritage conservation of cultural heritage sites regulate this, and the National Museum of Greenland has the authority in relation to protected buildings.
Conservation areas, as well as buildings and facilities, must be preserved and provisions for conservation must be incorporated into the town plan. The subject is governed by the Danish Home Rule Order No. 31 of 30 October 1991 on handling conservation in town planning (Conservation Notice). There is a distinction between:
- ”special conservation areas”, where section 2 stipulates that the municipalities are to establish sufficiently clear guidelines in the overall provisions of the subareas to ensure that the national conservation interests are taken into account– Changes can thus only be carried out after accept by the Greenland Government.
- ”conservation areas”, where section 2 stipulates that the municipalities in the overall provisions of the subareas determine the extent to which the areas are to be preserved so that the distinctive character of the areas is not lost - thus, each municipality may freely alter or repeal the conservation provisions determined pursuant to section 3.
Extensions or construction of new buildings in areas worth conserving are to take account of the character or distinctive features of the building to the greatest possible extent.
A house is declared worthy of preservation, because it has some special architectural or constructional qualities that are considered worthy of preservation and having a local or regional importance. It is not only considered whether the house is particularly old or beautiful, but also if the house as a whole is considered unique for its time or type of house. The municipalities that manages and is responsible for buildings that are worthy of preservation.
Repair, renovation and maintenance of buildings worth preserving are to be carried out with respect for the original architectural mode of expression, structure and choice of materials.
Keeping of dogs
In the town plan, areas for keeping dogs in the open land (M areas) and areas for keeping dogs in towns and settlements areas are laid out in accordance with the main structure. In addition, it is possible to lay out areas for keeping dogs in connection with existing dwellings. Unbuilt areas cannot be used for keeping dogs unless this is provided for in the provisions of the subarea in question. Subareas which have been laid out for other future use in the town plan may be used for keeping dogs until the development of the area is initiated.
The current provisions of the "Vedtægt for katte- og hundehold i Kommune Qeqertalik" (by-laws regarding the keeping of cats and dogs in Kommune Qeqertalik) are to be observed at all times.
In special circumstances, permission may be granted for placing containers in residential and centre areas. This permission may be limited in time only. There may be requirements to the effect that cladding, colour and use be adapted to the area where the container is placed.
The use of containers as huts etc. in residential and centre areas is subject to prior permission from the municipality and the container being considered an outbuilding is to be clad with wood and/or painted to match the colours of the main building.
The municipal council may designate container areas in the towns for storage in closed containers by private citizens as well as businesses.
The placing of containers is permitted in the following cases:
For a construction period in connection with construction sites for new buildings, rebuilding and extensions. Containers are to be removed no later than at the time of the notification of the occupational permit.
In connection with relocation and for a maximum of four weeks.
In areas for industry, a company may place up to six 20-foot containers at its own storage area if the containers are painted in the same colour as the buildings of the company.
The placing of containers is to comply with the provisions on area allotment in force at the time in question.
Storage of boats
During winter, boats may be stored in areas laid out for industry and port purposes or in areas which are laid out for storage of boats according to the town plan. Storage of boats during winter may be permitted in connection with single-family houses, if the boat and house owner is the same person, however, a maximum of one boat per house. Storage of boats in the winter may be permitted in connection with co-operative dwellings subject to prior acceptance from the cooperative housing association, and in connection with a company to which the boat owner is affiliated.
With few exemptions, the storage of boats requires area allotment which may be time-limited only.
The storage of boats must comply with the provisions of the "Vedtægt for bådoplag i Kommune Qeqertalik” (by-laws regarding the storage of boats in Kommune Qegertalik) in force at the time in question.
Port Authority Area
Naalakkersuisut (The Greenland Government) has designated port authority areas in all town and settlements, where there are permanent harbour constructions. Port authority areas, to a different degree include, both land and water areas where Naalakkersuisut has the authority. Nominations can be found at www.nunagis.gl.
This delimits and determines responsibility for the cleaning and deletion of shipwrecks and other floating objects, both regulated by the applicable port regulations.
Within the designated areas, Naalakkersuisut is the authority. The central port authority is the Ministry of Municipalities, Settlements, Outlying Districts, Infrastructure and Housing. The local port authority has been delegated to RAL (Royal Arctic Line). This also applies to the water area in the inner harbour.
On the land area of the inner harbour (on the inside of the port authority) and alongside the sea, the authority is delegated to the municipality as regards the cleaning and disposal of waste.
The Greenland Government Act on Marine Environment regulates Seaside pollution and the Ministry of Nature and Environment is in all cases authority.
The Danish Maritime Authority in accordance with the Maritime Safety Act regulates the removal of shipwrecks and other floating objects on the sea outside the ports. The Authority is the Danish Maritime Authority.
Ministry of Municipalities, Settlements, Outlying Districts, Infrastructure and Housing - Note:
This note from Naalakkersuisut describes in detail where the clean-up responsibility lies within the different types of authority.
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