Administrative law

Development under greater control of the commune

Many people in Poland dream of a house with a large plot in the suburbs, away from the city noise. The interest in single-family houses grew even more during the COVID-19 pandemic, when having a larger apartment and your own garden made it easier to survive the difficult months of the lockdown. Developers who offer terraced or detached houses for sale on plots of land located on the outskirts of cities, and more and more often also in estates built in the middle of nowhere, far from compact urban development, know it very well. This results in uncontrolled sprawl of buildings, generating higher costs for municipalities in the long run.

New spatial planning regulations

The government has prepared a draft amendment to the act on spatial planning and development, introducing the obligation for all communes to draw up and adopt general spatial development plans (general plans). The general plans are to replace the current study of the conditions and directions of spatial development of the commune. General plans will be acts of local law binding the authorities and citizens, and not only documents defining the spatial policy of the commune, as is the case with the study so far. The general plan will be binding both in the case of adopting local plans as well as in the case of issuing zoning decisions.

The commune will indicate where you are allowed to build

It will be possible to issue new zoning decisions only in the areas indicated in the general plan. Moreover, the zoning decisions will have to be consistent with the provisions of the general plans regarding the functions of the areas, development and land development. In addition, in the general plan it will be possible to designate downtown development areas for which specific development rules may be formulated, concerning, inter alia, the minimum biologically active area or distances between buildings, specified in the regulations issued on the basis of the Construction Law. The general plan will also be able to define standards for the accessibility of social infrastructure.

Zoning decisions only for 5 years

The new regulations will also limit the validity of the decision on zoning decisions, which will expire by law after 5 years from the date on which the decision became final. As for the zoning decisions which became final before the entry into force of the amendment, they will expire within 5 years from the effective date of this act.

Check the land before you buy it

The planned regulations will be important for people who intend to buy real estate in Poland. Before deciding to buy a plot of land to build a house, it is worth checking the legal status of the property, including planning regulations in force in a given area. Lawyers from the Real Estate Team at our Law Firm offer assistance to people who intend to buy real estate in Poland. Inquiries can be directed to: [email protected].

Here you can find more information about buying a land in Poland.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marcin Kręglewski
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