Environmental assessment needed before tourist facilities rise in Hveravellir

Hveravellir is an area renowned for its natural hot springs.

Hveravellir is an area renowned for its natural hot springs. mbl.is/Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson

A report on the environmental impact of tourist facilities at Hveravellir in the Icelandic highlands needs to be reassessed according to laws on environmental assessment.

The proposed plans are for older buildings to be demolished and new buildings, a hotel measuring 1.700 square metres and other lodging facilities for up to 120 people, to rise on the border of the nature reserve.

Hveravellir is a geothermal area with bubbling hot springs and stunning colours in the middle of the highlands, just by the highland road called Kjalvegur. The area is perhaps best known in Iceland for being the alleged home of outlaws Fjalla-Eyvindur and his wife Halla.

The Iceland Planning Institute published its decision on this matter yesterday. 

The old buildings that will remain in the area area are a stone building raised in 1922, a lodge erected by Ferðafélag Íslands from 1938 and a weather station built in 1965. 

Plans also call for changes to the parking lots for coaches and camper vans. 

In 1996 there were 16 thousand daily visitors to Hveravellir but this year the number of people could rise to 23 thousand. 

A computer drawing of the proposed new facilities.

A computer drawing of the proposed new facilities.

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