An extensive amendment to the Building Act will come into effect on January 1, 2018. The Amendment introduces in particular a new permit procedure - the so-called joint procedure, which enables to conduct both zoning and building procedures jointly in order to accelerate the entire process. At the same time, the subject-matter jurisdiction is transferred from common building authorities to special building authorities with respect to a majority of intents (particularly for a set of building structures).
The amendment newly stipulates the contents of the binding standpoint. In the future, the authorities concerned will be able to set only such conditions to which they are explicitly authorized by law, and they will be obliged to substantiate the conditions concerned. A binding standpoint will no longer be challengeable in review proceedings but only in appellate proceedings held against a final decision. It will not be possible to cancel a binding standpoint after the expiration of 1 year following the issuance thereof.
The amendment also significantly restricts the participation of associations in the proceedings held pursuant to the Building Act based on Section 70 of the Act providing for the protection of nature and landscape. However, the participation of associations in follow-up proceedings remains preserved under the Environmental Impact Assessment Act. It would still be legitimate for the associations, which are not the parties to the permit procedures, to file an administrative action against a final decision, provided that it concerns the review of the issues associated with the environmental protection.
Along with the amendment to the Building Act, more than 40 related regulations are being amended, too, such as the Environmental Impact Assessment Act. It will be no longer possible in the procedure on the assessment of impacts on environment to submit comments with respect to an expert opinion drafted by an authorized person, which should accelerate the entire procedure by more than 50 days.