Major simplifications to the Polish construction law will make life easier for builders
Work on a thorough reconstruction of the Polish construction and zoning legal system has been ongoing since 2012. The plan has been to introduce a single comprehensive town planning and construction code to replace the numerous acts regulating preparations for construction. This was scheduled to come into force in 2015. However, due to the increasing scope of changes and ongoing consultations, the government has decided to implement at least some of the most urgent new regulations. On 20 February 2015 the Polish Sejm adopted an act to simplify the administrative procedures preceding the start of construction work. Building permits will be lifted for minor construction. A permit will no longer be necessary for e.g. detached houses, outbuildings, transformer stations, networks and installations such as electro-energetic, water supply, sewage and heating systems. It will be enough to notify the head of district (starosta) about the intention to build. Work may start if the authority raises no objection within 30 days from notification. Under the new rules, the builder will also be able to apply for a building permit for the above constructions if it decides that that will be more advantageous. The builder will save 14 days because the period for the decision to become finally binding will be skipped, unlike at present.
It will also be possible to start construction works based on a not yet finally binding decision to granting a building permit if the sole applicant is the builder.
Moreover, the catalogue of constructions after completion of which it will not be necessary to obtain a permit for use has been extended.
A welcome amendment is the introduction of a time limit for the local authority to file comments on planned investment requiring a building permit. Currently the law does not impose any deadline for the authority to require an investor to correct planning flaws; it often happens that such requirements are raised too late or multiple times, which significantly delays the whole process. Following the amendment the authority will have 14 days to require an investor to supplement the documentation.
The act is currently awaiting the president’s signature and will come into force three months from being published, i.e. around mid-year.
Source: Act of 20.02.2012 amending the act – Construction law and some other laws. Not yet published.