Łukasz Dąbrowski

Easier to legalise unlawful construction

In places where there is no local zoning plan in force, planning permission is sufficient to legalise a structure built without a permit—regardless of when the planning permission becomes legally final.

On 10 June 2010 the speaker of the Polish Parliament, as acting President of Poland, signed into law an act amending Art. 49b(2) of the Construction Law insofar as this article required, in order to legalise a structure built or extended without the proper notification or despite objection by the relevant authority, that in the absence of a local zoning plan, the construction comply with a planning permit (a decision on conditions for construction and development of the land) that was legally final as of the date of commencement of the proceeding seeking an order to dismantle the structure.

The act is a response to the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal dated 21 September 2009 (Case No. P 46/2008), in which the tribunal held that it was unconstitutional to require that the planning permission be legally final as of the date of commencement of the proceeding.

Since the date of publication of the decision by the Constitutional Tribunal, and now also from entry into force of the amendment to the Construction Law, it will be sufficient for the owner of an unlawful structure to legalise the structure if it holds a planning permit, regardless of whether the permit was final upon commencement of the proceeding seeking an order to dismantle the structure.

The amendment is awaiting publication in the Journal of Laws and will go into effect 30 days after publication.