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Municipal Authorities Reject Þingvellir Hotel Proposal

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Municipal Authorities Reject Þingvellir Hotel Proposal

Photo: Screenshot via RÚV

Authorities in the Bláskógabyggð municipality have rejected a proposal to build a massive luxury hotel and spa complex at Skálabrekkujörð, a parcel of privately owned land near Þingvellir National Park, RÚV reports. “At that location, we didn’t think it would fit in with the landscape or the proximity to the national park,” said Helgi Kjartansson, chairman of the Bláskógabyggð district council.

The hotel complex was to be built in five stages. First was to be a four or five-star hotel with 120 – 160 rooms, a spa, swimming pool, and restaurant. Next up would be a tourist center and campsite, then a two to three-star hotel for budget travelers, then cottages with adjoining sports fields and greenhouses, and finally, an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse.

The Bláskógabyggð district council, which oversees the area in which the hotel was to be built, took up the proposal at their February 1 meeting. But the council simply couldn’t agree to the proposal in its current form, Helgi explained. “They were just such big and imposing ideas and big plans,” he said. And so the council was in agreement that the plan, as it stood, must be opposed; it represented too much of an incursion on the environment.

As is stated in the meeting minutes, the district council is not opposed to landowners pursuing the idea of building a hotel in the area—they simply need to be smaller in scope. Skálabrekkjujörð is located within Þingvallavatn lake's water conservation area, and so there are very stringent rules about what can be done on the land. As such, the council suggested that any future plans for development get a greenlight from the Ministry for the Environment before returning to them for approval.

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