Planning and spatial development reform - the Act with the President's signature

President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda signed the Act of July 7, 2023, amending the Law on Planning and Spatial Development and certain other laws systemically reforming planning and spatial development.

Among other things, the Act provides for the following:

  • introduction of a new planning tool, enacted obligatorily for the entire municipality, with the rank of a local law act - a general plan - allowing to determine:
    • generalized functional and spatial structure of the municipality through the demarcation of planning zones in which the predefined functions of land can be realized - for the zones, the basic parameters of development and land use will also be determined (the range of zones allowing residential development will be determined by the result of the methodologically specified demand for new residential development);    
    • borders of the area where it will be possible to supplement development on the basis of a decision on development conditions;
    • borders of the downtown development areas, for which it will be possible to modify certain development conditions;
    • standards of accessibility of social infrastructure, i.e. the rules for locating new residential development in relation to the facilities providing public services that serve them;
  • repeal of the provisions authorizing the issuance of a study of municipal land use conditions and directions:
    • an obligatory general plan will bind with its findings both local plans and decisions on land development conditions;
    • in terms of defining the spatial policy framework, the role of the study will be fulfilled by the municipality's development strategy;
    • the general plan will not specify the land use, but will only indicate the catalog of land uses that can be designated in local plans, as is the case with the study of land development conditions and directions;
  • amendments to the regulations on the planning procedure:
    • shortening the procedures, including the introduction of a simplified planning procedure in specific cases, allowing simultaneous procedures for various acts, and reducing the need for repeated public consultations;
  • amendments to the regulations on building conditions decisions:
    • introduction of a limitation of the area of analysis for building conditions decisions for selected functions, in particular for residential development and service development excluding trade - the law will determine the maximum permissible extent of the area of analysis (requirements for new development will be determined based on the immediate neighborhood);
    • binding the decision to the findings of the general plan - making its issuance conditional on the location of the area designated for infill development, and defining the framework for the very prejudices made in the decision;
    • introducing in the law a time limit for the validity of the building conditions decision (5 years from the date the decision becomes final).
    • introduction of the Urban Register, maintained in an IT system, which is a source of spatial planning and development data and information;
  • introduction of a new spatial planning act - ZPI, which is a form of local plan:
    • instead of a resolution on the location of a housing project - the draft provides for ZPI as a new tool intended for the implementation of large investment projects that require coordination in terms of equipping them with the necessary technical, communications or social infrastructure.

The Act was published in the Journal of Laws on August 24, 2023 and will enter in principle after 30 days.

The text of the Act is available here.