Following long preparations, a draft of the new Building Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Bill”) began to be discussed on October 5, 2020, at the extraordinary meeting of the Chamber of Deputies.
The Bill comes after an extensive comment procedure, which has considerably prolonged the process of drafting.
We have already informed about the substantive intent of the Bill HERE.
The Bill (which contains 332 paragraphs and 8 annexes) aims to streamline the permitting of constructions, so that whole process from the submission of the application to the issuance of the decision should take utmost 375 days.
The Bill substantially changes the existing system of building authorities. The newly introduced „state construction administration” should be ensuring all issues related to building permits, expropriation, spatial planning and other related activities of public administration. The state construction administration system is to consist of the Supreme Building Authority, The Specialized Building Authority and regional building authorities, whereas the Supreme Building Authority shall be on the top of the state construction administration as the central administrative office and the Specialized Building Authority shall represent an administrative body with a nationwide competence in the matters of the Building Act.
According to the Bill, municipal building authorities shall have residual competence in matters of constructions which, according to the Bill, do not explicitly fall within the competence of the Specialized Building Authority (reserved constructions) or to regional building authorities.
Finally, the establishment of the so-called Institute of Spatial Development is also anticipated (the aim of this institute is to process and submit proposals for spatial planning documentation at the national level).
SPATIAL PLANNING DOCUMENTATION
The Bill, similarly to the current Building Act, works with the concept of spatial planning documentation, which is to include the so-called „spatial development plan“, as well as the principles of spatial development and spatial and regulatory plan. The spatial planning documentation is to be issued in the form of measure of a general nature.
One of the considered novelties, which would probably be most interesting and welcomed especially by developers, is the proposal to introduce the institute of the so-called “planning contract”, a public contract between the builder and the municipality, a region or the owner of public infrastructure, which may also include the regulation of rights and obligations of the private law. The primary content of this contract should be the mutual obligation of the parties to cooperate in the implementation of the planned construction project.
Should the Bill be adopted, the municipality and the region could undertake to take all steps leading to the issuance of such spatial planning documentation that will enable the realization of the builder’s project in the planning contract. The Bill foresees that the builder could undertake to provide monetary or material benefits in return for the issuance of spatial planning documentation.
AUTHORIZATION OF THE PLAN AND MEASURES TO SPEED UP THE PERMITTING PROCESS
A revolutionary innovation that aims to speed up the permission procedure is the automatic environmental impact assessment by the building authority itself. The Bill further presumes that the building authority will have integrated competence in matters that are currently decided by specialized administrative bodies. The building authority would, for instance, hold the powers of the historic building and monument office, the office for environmental protection or even decide on fire protection matters, all in one permitting procedure.
In order to speed up the procedure of the permission procedure, the Bill proposes integration of territorial and construction proceedings into a single permitting procedure. It would further be possible to submit a request to initiate proceedings either in the classical paper form or electronically via a special form and the newly established so-called builder’s portal. Electronization is intended to further speed up the entire permitting process.
The Bill newly stipulates specific consequences in the event of inactivity of the municipal building authority. If the municipal building authority does not decide on the approval of the project within a specified period, the matter is to be decided by the superior regional building authority, within the same periods as were valid for the municipal building authority.
The Bill also intends to shorten the procedure by changing the existing principles governing appeal proceedings, where it is considered that the appellate body will be able to annul a decision, that is in conflict with law or is incorrect, and to reject the application for the issuance of the decision itself, or possibly to change the decision (all within the deadlines for issuance of the decision by the building authority).
With regard to the complex changes (and also the fact that the Prime Minister was asked by the opposition to withdraw the Bill and revise it), a large number of amendments can be expected. The possible effectiveness of the law, as well as its final form, can thus hardly be predicted at this moment.
 7 700 comments, of which approx. 6 600 comments of a fundamental nature: https://www.mmr.cz/cs/ostatni/web/novinky/vlada-schvalila-novy-stavebni-zakon