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Approval process in Germany

Road and railway projects are usually approved in Germany through a regulatory approval process, which results in an overall project approval. Regulatory approval is issued based on a project application, which includes the construction project’s design, area needs, the alignment, construction methods and an assessment of the project’s environmental impacts.

Femern A/S has to prepare the application in dialogue with the co-applicant LBV Lübeck, the Schleswig-Holstein Road Directorate department in Lübeck (Landesbetrieb Straßenbau und Verkehr Schleswig-Holstein, Niederlassung Lübeck). 

According to German law, only a German authority can apply for approval of e.g. motorways on German territory. This means that the application for regulatory approval has to be submitted by the two parties in tandem: LBV Lübeck for the road section and Femern A/S for the railway on German territory.

Application in 2013

The application for regulatory approval of the German part of the Fehmarnbelt project was delivered for the first time in October 2013 to the German approval authority, the Schleswig-Holstein Road Directorate in Kiel (LBV Kiel). The application material was subject to public consultation from 2014-2015. In this connection, some 3,100 objections and comments were received from private individuals, companies, organisations and authorities.

Based on responses received from the initial consultation, new court rulings on other projects, new guidelines, renewed studies of environmental conditions and requirements from the German authorities, Femern A/S and the co-applicant, LBV Lübeck, expanded the application and updated it in a number of areas following a close dialogue with the authorities and discussions at the non-public consultation meetings in autumn 2015. Examples include a new report in relation to the EU’s Water Framework Directive and extended plans for environmental compensations and environmental control and monitoring programmes.

Application in 2016

On 13 June 2016, Femern A/S and LBV Lübeck applied for approval of the updated project application. The new public hearing of the updated application documents is initiated by the hearing authority, Landesbetrieb Straßenbau und Verkehr Schleswig-Holstein (LBV SH) by displaying the application documents to the general public from 12 July 2016. Objections to the updated application documents shall be handed in before 26 August 2016.

On 13 June 2016, Femern A/S and LBV Lübeck applied for approval of the updated project application.

The application for regulatory approval of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel is based on a comprehensive investigation programme, which was carried out by Danish and German experts with regard to the environment, navigational safety, geotechnology, tunnel-safety and contingency, and by the company's technical consultant, Rambøll-Arup-TEC, who has conducted the design of the tunnel. The application thus contains a detailed description of the tunnel that is to be built, the choice of alignment, construction methods, alternative technical solutions and not least the project's environmental impact.

Find the application material online

You can find links to the full plan approval documents from October 2013 and June 2016 in the bottom of this page.