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An amendment with a broken tooth - building conditions still indefinite?

Kuba Głaz
02 of December '22

Work on a revolutionary amendment to the Land Use Law is in the final straight. MPs are expected to vote on the document within a month. They will decide, among other things, whether planning will have a higher profile, with development conditions used only where it makes sense. There are also high hopes for the Integrated Investment Plan. However, there are still some worrisome unknowns regarding vouchers.

More coherent and flexible - this is what the modified planning system is soon to be, according to Piotr Uściński, deputy head of the Ministry of Development. The amended zoning law is to do more to protect areas of natural value and those not designated for development in general documents (today, the provisions of the study of conditions are de facto dead in areas not covered by local plans). In contrast, where investments are indicated, the upcoming legal modifications are expected to help simplify procedures. The government's proposed changes have been under consultation and review since the beginning of this year.

conditions unchanged?

The most important modification? The reintroduction of a general plan for the municipality - a tool with the rank of local law, absent from the system since 2003. Both local plans and development conditions will have to comply with it. The latter will be able to be issued anyway for - and this is also a novelty - the so-called development supplement area designated by the municipality. In other areas, investment will only be made possible by the plan. This solution is intended to stop uncontrolled and senseless urban sprawl. Meanwhile, regulations on studies and land use conditions will be repealed. It is also planned to simplify the procedure for amending an existing plan so that it takes much less time that it does now (ministerial announcements say about 2 months).

It was also originally planned that development conditions would be issued, not indefinitely as before, butfor a certain number of years. In the spring, there was talk of three, and in November, legalis.pl reported, it was already five years. However, according to the bill posted on the government website at the end of October, everything is likely to stay the same as before regarding the validity of vuzetas . The provision on expiration of conditions after three years has disappeared! This is an important signal to the Chamber of Architects of Poland and the Association of Polish Architects to - at the last mile - keep an eye on what is happening in this matter and that the previously intended change will not be abandoned.

will enter into the register

In addition, the bill also includes issues regarding accessibility standards for public infrastructure and strengthening the public consultation aspect of the planning process. The bill is also to introduce a very useful tool, the so-called online urban planning registry, which will include all information on planning and revitalization, public consultations, administrative decisions issued in the municipality, and supervisory decisions.

Finally, an interesting tool is to be the Integrated Investment Plan, which will replace and improve the provisions of the housing specs law, the so-called developer lex of 2018. The ZPI is to have the force of a local plan, and is to be applied for by an investor who wants to operate, for example, in an area with a complex structure requiring close cooperation with the municipality. The drawing up of the integrated plan is to be preceded by an urban planning agreement between the authorities and the investor on the latter's detailed obligations and regarding public infrastructure.

When will the parliamentary vote on the amendment take place? Announcements that it will happen by the end of the year remain in effect . The draft is currently awaiting approval from the Council of Ministers' Standing Committee. If it gives the green light, the document will go to MPs. Once passed, the new regulations are expected to take effect 30 days after the announcement. The exception is the issue of the urban planning register. The regulations relating to it would not take effect until January 1, 2026.

Jakub Głaz

The vote has already been cast

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