It's been almost 6 months since Liberstad was established in Tjelland in Marnardal municipality and we have during this time attempted to obtain concession for the property through the company Liberstad Drift AS. However, the municipality do not want corporations or organizations to own agricultural property and have therefor rejected the company's application for concession earlier this fall.
This is common practice in most municipalities in Norway and we were therefore somewhat prepared for this outcome. The reason for the municipality's refusal is that the concession act shall ensure the municipality's right to decide who is allowed to own agricultural properties. If a limited company gets permission to own agricultural property, the company can resell shares and will cause the municipality to lose control of who owns the property.
Following the rejection of the concession application we decided to apply for concession as a private individual, and we are now pleased to inform that the owner of Liberstad Drift AS, Sabrina Holmesland, has been granted concession and permission to own Tjelland farm and the associated properties where Liberstad will be developed.
We initially wanted Liberstad Drift AS to be the owner of the property where Liberstad will be developed and this is what we have presented to the municipality right from our first meeting with the local government. We had hoped that the municipality could have informed us from the start that the company most likely would not get concession, so that we could have completed the purchase and establishment of Liberstad as a private individual from the very beginning. Since this process has brought some extra work for us and also led to a slower development than we would have liked.
The fact that the property is now owned by the company's owner as a private person and not by the company itself does not make any significant difference to the operation or development of Liberstad and we are very happy that the concession has now finally been clarified and we can take on the further development of Norway's first private city.