Local News in Brief: Abandoned ships in Copenhagen Harbour becoming a headache

Elsewhere, apartment prices stagnating, a hotel will replace WestMarket and Denmark’s best canteen is named

Copenhagen Municipality once envisaged turning the Erdkehlgraven area of Copenhagen Harbour into a hidden gem of nature, but an increasing number of abandoned ships have turned it into an eyesore.

Many of the wrecks were brought to Erdkehlgraven – located between Christiania and Holmen – by people living on the fringes of society who wanted a free, floating community to call their own.

READ MORE: Lonely Planet: Copenhagen the top city to travel to in 2019 

Frustrated Frank
Some paid as little as one krone for boats in a dismal condition, which they then moved to the area. But the floating camp was declared illegal by the government in 2013 and the residents didn’t have the money to move them again – much to the consternation of city mayor Frank Jensen.

“My patience ran out long ago. I’ve been mentioning the problem to the government for several years now and have been promised they would fix it. It’s the state that must enforce the rules when it is a maritime territory,” said the city’s mayor, according to BT.

The justice minister, Søren Pape Poulsen, said he wants to clear the area, but doesn’t have the 26 million kroner needed to do so at the moment.

Apartment market saturation reached?
Following several years of skyrocketing apartment prices in Copenhagen, the financial services bank Nykredit has warned that apartment prices in the Danish capital could be poised to fall next year. The bank believes that high prices, more stringent loan regulations and uncertainty regarding future housing taxation have led to the market of buyers dwindling significantly. Nykredit predicts a 2 percent decrease in rental apartment prices next year, although the bank still expects property prices to marginally increase nationwide.

Hotel to take over WestMarket
Just 18 months after the now-failed food market WestMarket opened its doors to much aplomb in Vesterbro early last year, news has filtered through that an international hotel brand will take over the building sometime in 2020. Renovation of the building will commence in early 2019 and, aside from the hotel, it will continue to house a Fitness World gym along with two supermarkets: Netto and Føtex. WestMarket was supposed to become a cornerstone of street food in Copenhagen, but closed its final stall in September following a dismal public reception.

Homeless case to high court
The case involving a Romanian man being fined 500 kroner for sleeping on a street in Copenhagen will be brought before the eastern high court. The court will decide whether the police, and city court, correctly deemed the man’s place of slumber as a camp that generated insecurity, despite the fact that he was sleeping alone. The case is important because it could set a legal precedent for one-person camps, potentially permitting the law to further crack down on the homeless community. The Justice Ministry has informed Parliament that it is not aware of any other cases in which single persons have been charged with making an illegal camp.

Denmark’s best canteen named
The canteen at Borgercenter Børn og Unge Brønshøj-Husum-Vanløse has been awarded the 2018 Kantineprisen by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. It is the first time that a municipal canteen has won the prestigious award. Although the award is purely based on Socialcantina’s culinary merits, its efforts within social responsibility were hailed during the award ceremony. Head chef Mathias Holt leads the kitchen, which is staffed by young interns who are struggling at school and need a break from the pressure of school life.

(photo: Copenhagen Municipality)

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