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Abba star cleared to build in nature reserve

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12:50 CET+01:00
Former Abba member Björn Ulvaeus has gained permission to build a home and studio on Furillen, an island off Gotland.

The county governor Mariane Samuelsson has granted Ulvaeus an exemption from strict planning regulations that are designed to keep Sweden's beaches and coastal areas open to the general public.

Lawyers at the county administrative board are critical of the decision, according to a report on Sveriges Radio Gotland.

Ulvaeus, who together with Benny Andersson wrote the music for the hit film "Mamma Mia", had previously been granted planning permission for the property. This decision has however been appealed by the National Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket).

Samuelsson has defended her decision to grant the exemption to the public access regulations by citing the granted planning permission decision by the local housing committee.

Samuelsson also argues that Ulvaeus' plans should be given special dispensation but the lawyers at county administrative board disagree.

According to the current plans Ulvaeus' house will lie closer to the beach than any other existing buildings on the island.

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