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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » February 23, 2010
The Real Estate Voice
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Construction Law at a Crossroads
February 23, 2010   
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The state of construction law in Poland gives great cause for concern. It is impossible to predict if and when the major amendment to construction law of April 23, 2009 will come into force. It provides for revolutionary changes that simplify the construction process according to some, and cause chaos according to others.

The amended law abolishes obligatory construction permits, replacing them with the registration of a construction project with the relevant administrative body. It also abolishes the previous mandatory occupancy permit. In principle, the construction of a building will require an entry in the construction register. The law allows construction to start if the relevant administration authority does not object within 30 days. The amended law also introduces a new concept-urban planning consent. This is understood as the provisions of the local zoning plan or a decision on the conditions of development, a decision on the location of a public utility or another decision if-under separate regulations-these form the basis for drawing up a construction design and registering a construction project. Registration of a construction project will be possible on condition that it is compatible with the terms of urban planning consent. Registration of a project is prohibited if the project and construction work could significantly affect the environment or a Natura 2000 area, and is not directly connected with protection of that area nor results from such protection. In such case an administrative decision is required.

The Polish president has referred the amendment to the Constitutional Tribunal. The president has taken the view that the law may result in land use violations as the proceedings to obtain consent for a project do not involve neighbors owning real estate near the planned project. They would not even be informed of such a fact. Under the current construction permit proceedings, neighbors can take an active part and appeal the construction permit at a higher-level administration authority, and if they find that decision unsatisfactory, they have the option to file a complaint with an administrative court. The amended law does not provide the option for this kind of complaint. The president has pointed out that legalization of a land use violation may occur after fulfilling just two formal requirements. The president also considers the 30-day deadline for the administration body to oppose a project's registration is too short.

In other words, the situation looks promising and not hopeless.

Peter Daszkowski, Managing Partner
Pawe³ Kuglarz, Partner

Beiten Burkhardt law firm, P. Daszkowski Sp.k., ul. Ks. I. Skorupki 5, 00-546 Warszawa tel.: +48-22-583-7100, fax: +48-22-583-7109, bblaw-warschau@bblaw.com
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