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Construction Insights June 2023: Poland

08 August 2023
The Amending Act provides for numerous changes of the spatial planning system in Poland and introduces new institutions such as the Integrated Investment Plan and urban planning agreement.

Forthcoming changes to zoning regulations in Poland 

On 7 July 2023 the lower chamber of the Polish parliament (Polish: Sejm) adopted the Act on Amending of the Spatial Planning Act and some other legal acts ("Amending Act"). The Amending Act was signed by the President of Poland on 24 July 2023. The Amending Act is to enter into force upon lapse of 30 days since its publishing in the Journal of Laws (Polish: Dziennik Ustaw) except for some regulations of the Amending Act which are to enter into force on the dates specified in the Amending Act. According to the status as of 7 August 2023 the Amending Act has not been published in the Journal of Laws yet. 

The Amending Act provides for numerous changes of the spatial planning system in Poland and introduces new institutions such as, in particular, the Integrated Investment Plan (Polish: Zintegrowany Plan Inwestycyjny) ("IPP") and urban planning agreement (Polish: umowa urbanistyczna). Some of the most significant changes introduced in the Amending Act are outlined below:

General plan

The Amending Act provides for abolition of the zoning study (Polish: studium uwarunkowaĊ„ i kierunków zagospodarowania przestrzennego) of the commune. It is to be replaced by general communal plan (Polish: plan ogólny gminy) ("General Plan"). 

The General Plan is to be more detailed than the zoning study. It will define planning zones and municipal urban planning standards in a given area. A master plan adopted on the basis of the new regulations (introduced based on the Amending Act) will have to be consistent with the General Plan.

In accordance with the Amending Act, obtaining a zoning decision will be allowed only in the development addition area (Polish: obszar uzupeĊ‚nienia zabudowy) established in the General Plan, subject to exception determined in the Amending Act. Under transitional provisions, until the end of 2025, it will be possible to issue zoning decisions if a municipality has not adopted a General Plan. The term of the zoning decision is to be for 5 years from the date the decision became final. 

In accordance with transitional regulatons included in the Amending Act, the zoning study being in force in particular commune on the date of entry into force of the Amending Act, remains in force until General Plan is adopted in given commune, however no longer than until 31 December 2025. 

IIP and urban planning agreement 

The Amending Act provides for a new planning tool, i.e. the IIP. In accordance with the Amending Act IIP will constitute a specific form of a master plan. IIP will be adopted at the request of the investor. The investor will be required to attach a draft master plan to the application for adoption of IIP. 

The procedure for adopting the IIP is to be similar to the procedure for adopting an ordinary master plan, but includes an element of negotiation with the investor. The investment, provided for in the IIP, will be implemented on the basis of an urban planning agreement (Polish: umowa urbanistyczna) between the commune and investor. Such agreement, which is to be concluded in a form of a notarial deed, may among other things provide for financing by the investor of all or part of the costs of adoption of IIP incurred by commune. 

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