December 7, 2022


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Residential Building, Hallenskog | There may be room for many in Hallenskog

opinions This is the topic of discussion. The publication expresses the views of the author.

Mayor Lynn Conrady and Social Welfare Home Committee Chair Cecilie Lindgren write in Budstikka that “there should be room for everyone in Asker” and with that they introduce Asker’s Long Term Housing Policy.

They write, among other things: “Housing development in Asker is about having a future-oriented housing development that solves the need for a larger pool of housing demanded by the market,” and “Future housing policy will be central to solving the municipality’s challenges, if the matter It’s about attracting families with children and the workforce, or that we’re getting older, or to reduce our impact on the climate.”

It is true that housing policy contributes to all three dimensions of sustainability – climate-related municipal sustainability, and social and economic sustainability.

It is well known that Asker is a large municipality in the Oslo region where there is price pressure on housing, at the same time that the community of Asker is fully dependent on a wide range of labor force in the future as well, which means that the cost of housing is more expensive. Accommodation must be provided for. It is indicated that private actors should be given long-term predictability of investments in Asker.

This is an exciting and important work that will be adopted through a thematic plan in 2024.

However, the mayor and the committee chair do not write much about how these goals will be achieved. The starting shot has just been given. The plan should be designed with good participatory processes where knowledge and participation are central.

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Where the beautiful villa areas of Asker are already sheltered before the start line, the central residential areas are fully organized and very expensive, and most new residential areas will be far from public transport hubs – as well as discordant in terms of natural diversity or topsoil – questions must be asked about how – and not least where – these good goals should be achieved. It is time for real politics instead of partisan rhetoric.

Hallenskog stands out as part of the solution. This is an area in the center of Askar where residential plots are not that expensive.

As the plots are large, there are good opportunities to create – and experiment with – new forms of housing with detached houses and yard development. The area has a great location close to the Blåfjell field/nature reserve and has no topsoil.

With modern forms of micro commuting and relatively short distances to both Heggedal Station and Røyken Station, the municipality itself can control that development is not car dependent.

The development can go hand in hand with the necessary investments in road, water and drainage infrastructure, which in any case are essential to adequately prepare the more than 250 families already living in Halenskog.

In the current municipal plan, Hallenskog is designated as a future residential area. Due to the terms of the system, development—which many individuals had had high expectations on and based their investments on—has been at rest for a long time.

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In the new municipal plan, which is expected to be adopted in the winter of 2023, on the other hand, it is proposed to reorient Hallenskog as a LNF (Agriculture, Nature and Outdoors) region!

It is very unfortunate that, after several decades of planning, these wonderful directly accessible residential areas missed the finish line when the Askar Municipality Substantive Plan “Sustainable Housing Policy” was adopted in 2024.

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