Plans for the Högnäs area available for public review again

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2021-03-22 16:17

An area of detached houses for some 260 residents is being planned in Espoo’s Högnäs, surrounded by nature and located between two lakes, Matalajärvi and Bodominjärvi. The amount of new construction has been reduced in the local detailed plan, and therefore the plan will be made available for public review again in March or April.

Högnäs includes valuable cultural environments and a Natura 2000 nature reserve

Högnäs is an area where the buildings are mainly holiday homes and detached houses built in the 1950s and 1960s, and its original appearance has been well preserved. Most of the over 120 current buildings are small holiday homes and outbuildings, but there are also year-round homes in the area. Högnäs is part of the valuable cultural environment of Lake Bodominjärvi and has a unique landscape. In the northern part, the isthmus rises to a height of over 30 metres. The soil is fertile, providing a favourable environment for certain deciduous trees and cultivated plants.

Lake Matalajärvi, its flood meadows and the northern part of Högnäs belong to the Natura 2000 network and will be marked on the local detailed plan as a nature reserve. The plan will not affect the level of protection of the nature reserves. Protection is based on the plan for the management and use of Nuuksio National Park, which is currently being updated by Metsähallitus.

The planning area is approximately 38 hectares and mainly privately owned. The state owns the land areas in the northern and eastern parts that belong to the Natura 2000 area of Matalajärvi. There are, in total, more than 60 properties in the area. A water supply and sewerage network was built in the 2000s.

The local detailed plan aims at a moderate level of new construction

The aim is to preserve the current holiday homes and detached houses and add a moderate number of new buildings. New construction, at least one detached house, will be made possible for each private landowner based on the old property structure.

“The plots will be exceptionally sparsely built. There will be no buildings on steep slopes or in important vegetation zones or lakeside areas,” says City Planning Architect Aila Valldén. The shores will remain in their natural state as much as possible. The trees and plantings important to the landscape will be preserved. The plan also controls stormwater management and the method of construction. Based on the Natura impact assessment, the new plan proposal also includes wide protection zones towards the shores and nature reserves.

The road network will mainly remain unchanged, and the roads will be narrow but functional. Space has been reserved for a pedestrian and bicycle path along Paciuksentie, and the new turning area for buses has been placed further away from Lake Matalajärvi.

In the Sointupuisto park, located in the southern part of the planning area, space has been reserved for a small playground. Based on the plan, the public shores of Lake Bodominjärvi can be developed for local recreational use and as boat harbours. Public recreational areas have also been added to the northern part of the planning area to ensure that the need for recreational areas due to the increasing number of residents will not affect the nature reserves.

The aim is to have the plan proposal approved by the end of the year

The planning process was launched because there was a great deal of interest in building in the area, which was reflected in a large number of permit applications. A new local detailed plan will ensure a fairer situation for additional construction and a better Natura impact assessment than individual permit processes.

The City Council approved the previous plan proposal for Högnäs in 2014, but due to a rectification reminder issued by the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre), the proposal returned to the preparation phase. In 2018, the City Planning Committee decided to halve the target regarding the number of residents. The master plan proposal for the northern and central parts of Espoo, which was available for public review in the autumn of 2020, clarified the goals in relation to the master plan. The Natura impact assessment of the local detailed plan was then updated to match the new plan and the specified species on which protection is based.

The City Planning Committee discussed the new public review of the plan proposal at its meeting on 3 March 2021. You can find a link to the meeting material (in Finnish) on the City of Espoo website.

After the public review period, the City Planning Committee will discuss the feedback received through the review process and the Natura assessment. After the committee, the plan will be discussed by the City Board and approved by the City Council.

Högnäs, website of the planning project (in Finnish)

Further information:

City Planning Architect Aila Valldén, tel. 043 825 1919