Deal to solve Bro Hof planning row?

Deal to solve Bro Hof planning row?
By Adam Lawrence

The owner of Bro Hof Slott, often considered Sweden's finest golf course, has come to an agreement with the local council that could end the long-running dispute over an alleged violation of environmental regulations in the construction of the course.

Bro Hof, which is run by Swedish entrepreneur Bjorn Örås, and the Upplands-Bro Municipality have signed a letter of intent to examine the possibility of extending a local nature reserve as compensation for the alleged incursion of the golf course into the reserve.

The agreement could provide a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing since the course was constructed. Swedish regulations prohibit construction on the edge of natural bodies of water, while the Bro Hof Slott course was built right along the shore of Lake Malaren, with the iconic fifteenth and sixteenth holes both extending out into the lake.

Under the proposed agreement, Bro Hof Slott will provide funding to extend the nature reserve from 275 to 500 hectares. The club will provide nature trails, boardwalks, biotope signs, an observation tower, shelters and benches within the area of the reserve. In return, the parties will jointly initiate a process under Sweden's Planning and Building Act to amend the existing zoning for the golf course, in effect retrospectively permitting the course construction.

Örås welcomed the deal. “This agreement means that everyone is a winner, nature, nature lovers, residents and golfers,” he said.

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