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New Regulation Impedes Warehouse Construction in Poland

LAWNew Regulation Impedes Warehouse Construction in Poland

The government is hindering the logistics industry. Changes introduced at the last minute, after public consultations, in the regulation by the Minister of Development and Technology have deprived warehouses of the ability to obtain building conditions. Thus, it will not be possible to supplement warehouse construction in areas not covered by local plans. The Polish Association of Developers urgently calls for changes in the regulations.

The new Spatial Planning and Development Act introduced the institution of general plans. By the end of 2025, these are to replace the studies of conditions and directions of spatial development of municipalities, and their findings are to be binding when adopting local plans. The general plan will also include areas for infill development (i.e., areas designated in the general plan of the municipality according to a strictly defined procedure), for which it will still be possible to apply for building conditions. Unfortunately, this does not apply to logistic buildings.

After Consultations and Without Justification

As a result of public consultations on the draft regulation by the Minister of Development and Technology on the method of designating the area for infill development in the municipality’s general plan, warehouse buildings (category 104) were added to the list of investments around which the Infill Development Area (OUZ) is designated. This enabled the supplementation of warehouse construction in its development areas. However, this provision, publicly announced, was suddenly changed. On April 23, 2024, the Government Legislation Center website announced the removal of warehouses from the list, without any explanation.

This change was made after the public consultations had ended, and among the investments around which OUZ can be designated are:

  • industrial buildings with symbol 101,
  • commercial and service buildings with symbol 103,
  • office buildings with symbol 105,
  • hospital and other healthcare buildings with symbol 106,
  • education, science, culture, and sports buildings with symbol 107,
  • other non-residential buildings with symbol 109,
  • residential buildings with symbol

According to the Polish Association of Developers (PZFD), the selective restriction of building types around which OUZ is designated means that the regulation interferes with the Spatial Planning and Development Act. The law does not limit the possibility of constructing warehouse facilities based on a building conditions decision. According to PZFD, key regulatory issues should be defined at the statutory level, not through lower-level acts. Selecting only certain types of development that can be implemented in a given area may raise questions about equality before the law. Similar plots in similar locations can be treated differently, depending on arbitrarily set criteria. This raises the risk of unequal treatment of investors and landowners.

– This violates the principles of correctness and transparency in the legislative process in economic matters, which fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Development and Technology. Changes that exclude the location of logistic investments to some extent become even more controversial in light of the growing importance of this sector for the Polish economy – comments Michał Leszczyński, a lawyer at the Polish Association of Developers. He adds: – Logistics is a sector that is not only a driving force for economic growth but also a critical element in ensuring the flexibility and efficiency of supply chains nationwide.

Logistics, as a key element supporting the functioning of economies worldwide, gained importance especially during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Its strategic importance for the stability and dynamism of economic development was then appreciated.

The Polish Association of Developers, which supports the spatial planning reform, believes that arbitrarily introduced “last minute” changes may hamper the development of key investment projects. This is particularly worrying as such developments may not only slow the sector’s growth but also lead to significant disparities in the planning and implementation of logistic projects. Such actions may also be perceived as a lack of consistency and predictability in policy.

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