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Why is it worth to examine whether the real estate to be purchased is covered by conservation protection?

The real estate of interest to the potential investor should be examined as regards of its current legal status and related risks for the planned investment (purchase, lease, performance of construction works). Crucial issue to be considered is the real estate being covered by one of the forms of monument protection.

The provisions of the Act on the Monuments Protection and Care of 23rd of July 2003 establish following forms of monument protection:
1.entry into the register of monuments,
2. entry on the List of Heritage Treasures,
3. recognition as a historical monument,
4. creation of a cultural park,
5. determine the protection in the local spatial development plan (zoning plan) or in the decision on determining the location of the public purpose investment, the decision on development conditions, the decision on the permission to carry out the road investment, the decision to establish the location of the railway line or the decision on the permit to implement the investment in the public use airport .

In relation to the real estates that are usually a subject to transactions in the course of commercial trade, the most common form of protection of monuments is entry into the register of monuments or the conservation protection based on the provisions of the zoning plan. In both of these cases, the implementation of construction works, groundworks or a change in the nature of activities currently undertaken on the property, where archaeological monuments are located, as a rule, requires previous archaeological research and preparation of archaeological documentation at the investor’s cost.

Additionally, the construction works conducted at the monument which is entered into the register or in the surroundings of monument require the permission of the voivodeship conservator in which further requirements regarding the conditions of construction works may be determined in order to prevent damage or destruction of the monument. The permit of the voivodeship monument conservator authorizing the construction works at the monument should be issued before submitting the application for the building permit.

It is also worth bearing in mind that the local spatial plan may indicate the existence of a conservation protection zone covered by archaeological observation („OW” zone). Establishing such a zone means that archaeological monuments may be present in the area. Conducting construction works in this area is associated with the risk of finding historic objects, which imposes an obligation on the investor to suspend works and notify the conservator officer promptly. After examining the subject, the conservator may order the suspension of construction works for up to six months and the archaeological excavation of the area and the preparation of archaeological documentation at the investor’s expense. In extreme situations, a conservation officer may order a historic object to be left at the place where it was found, forcing the investor to change the scope of construction works or even to resign from the investment.

It is therefore worth examining before the transaction whether the property on which the specified investment is planned:
– is not covered by one of the forms of conservation protection restricting the possibility of real estate development or
– is located in the area of ​​the archeological observation zone due to the risk of archaeological monuments occurrence.

Due diligence of real estate carried out by the real estate department of our Law Firm will allow you to obtain comprehensive information, among others in the scope of restrictions and risks associated with taking up the property with conservation protection.

Author team leader DKP Legal Marcin Kręglewski
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