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Mokotow park to be liquidated? Hospital sells valuable greenery

19 of April '21

The fact that greenery, if only outside the window, positively affects our health is well known. Nevertheless, the park, so far belonging to Mokotow hospital, may soon turn into an investment plot and have nothing to do with greenery.... A few days ago, the National Institute of Geriatrics, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation announced a tender for the capital's green enclave.

Future hospital park an investment plot

Already three years ago, Warsaw residents appealed to the media to publicize the fact that the National Institute of Geriatrics, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation had applied for Development Conditions on a plot of land with a "park" function on Spartanska Street. The greened, somewhat neglected park and adjacent pool ruins are the only green space in the area. And although the arrangement of the greenery leaves much to be desired, the park is simply needed here. In 2019, a letter was received from residents with comments on the Local Land Use Plan for the area of Fort Mokotow and Wyględow. However, the park was not officially listed as a green area. Already at that time, the Hospital to which the plots belonged, the National Institute of Geriatrics, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, informed the media that maintaining the park was too costly for the hospital itself. The hospital applied to the Mokotow District for Development Conditions, planning to transfer the plot to an investor, but the District's Department of Architecture held up decisions.

long-standing efforts of residents

Councillors of the Mokotow District Land Use Committee prepared two positions in July 2019 expressing their opposition to the National Institute of Geriatrics, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation's attempt to develop the park land located on Spartan Street. They asked the Bureau of Architecture and Spatial Planning of the Warsaw City Hall to speed up work on the Local Development Plan for the area of Fort Mokotow and Wyględow, in order to finally protect the park from any development. Both positions were then voted unanimously. In order to save the greenery, there were talks about a possible purchase of the park by the city. The institute, however, insisted that it could not sell the park, but could put it under management on the condition that it had rules and regulations similar to those of the Royal Baths, and that the city would take on maintenance costs....

In the Służewiec area, any greenery is at a premium. It's an important issue for the surrounding residents, because there are no green areas nearby," says Melania Luczak, a Mokotow councilwoman from the City Is Ours association, in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza, "We are pushing for the local plan to be passed as soon as possible and to prevent development. We even separated the area from the original project to speed up procedures. But this will still take time. Meanwhile, the hospital, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Health, is trying to sell the plot. Even the Law and Justice (PiS) councilors from Mokotow are against it, and they should hit out at their party colleagues to stop it.

A plot of land for sale, if only quickly

The institute has put the green, future hospital land up for sale in a tender. More than 12 thousand square meters, and the asking price - 36 million zlotys. The tender was scheduled for April 14. However, the institute has yet to announce its results....

An old-growth forest, greenery, beautiful collages of the prestigious Marina Mokotow, subway.... For developers, this is a plot of land - a dream. However, a potential investor would have to hurry to get a building permit on the basis of a zoning decision. The draft of the local plan, which has been under consideration since 2010, envisages "arranged greenery - a park" and a high ratio of biologically active area of 90 percent in this place. The enactment of the plan, which has been applied for as early as 2019, will derail investment plans.

In March of this year, Mokotow councilors once again appealed to the director of the architecture and urban planning office at City Hall to speed up work on the plan.

However, at the Mokotow District Office, we hear unofficially that "the probability of passing it in the foreseeable future is none," and "the Institute is convinced that the investor will receive a building permit in a year." - writes Gazeta Wyborcza.

We have already vociferously protested the sale in the past. The Institute of Rheumatology, for some reason, has returned to the subject. At most, we can appeal for acceleration of planning work," Jan Ozimek, vice mayor of Mokotow, points out in a statement to GW- In our opinion, it should be a park. It is a well-thought-out urban layout. In addition, many valuable bird species live there, most notably the white-backed woodpecker.

Unfortunately, the district cannot afford to buy the land from the hospital.

Patching budget holes, at the expense of greenery

The sale of the plot of land is theoretically intended to support the operation of the hospital. An underfunded state hospital. Why at the expense of greenery, every bit of which we should currently be fighting for? Greenery, which is supposed to have a positive impact on health?Unfortunately, the sale of green areas in Warsaw, as well as many other cities in Poslce to patch holes in the budget is a common way to solve the problem.

Many years of effort by residents, the district and district councilors to preserve this park as a green area may be in vain. The adoption of Local Development Plans serves to protect green areas and resources, meanwhile such a procedure can drag on for up to ten years, which unfortunately misses the point. Greenery disappears from the city much faster.

Marta Kowalska

The vote has already been cast