Czech Republic: May prospective building owners finally hope for an easier permission procedure and construction schedule?
The ministry for regional development has drafted a major amendment to the Building Act, with the primary goal to simplify and speed up approval/permission procedures. For this reason, the amendment introduces, among other things, a „coordinated procedure”.
The coordinated procedure ought to merge the zoning procedure and the building permission procedure into one approval procedure that will lead to the issuance of a single („coordinated”) permit. This procedure will thus replace the previous „joint zoning and permission procedure” which can only be used for certain special types of building, and broaden the scope of its application to include the majority of building projects. At the same time, the amendment is meant to preserve the zoning procedure and the procedure for issuance of a building permit as two separate types of procedure, and it will therefore be upon the investor to decide whether they wish to apply for a coordinated permit, or for a separate zoning decision and building permit.
In the case of building projects which are subject to an environmental impact assessment (EIA), the EIA process should also be integrated into the coordinated procedure. The binding EIA opinion will thus become a part of the coordinated permit. At the same time, the amendment will re-integrate the EIA process also into the separate zoning procedure.
The amendment bill is currently being discussed on the level of the legislative council of the government. In other words, it still has a long way to go before it becomes written into law, and may in the meantime well undergo substantial changes.