Construction law amendment in 2021 - what has changed?

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The amendment to the provisions of the construction law made by the Act of February 13, 2020 amending the provisions of the Construction Law Act, which entered into force on September 19, 2020, introduced changes in the commencement and course of the construction process, depending on the category of the object. Many of these changes should be read as a benefit for the citizen, who will have no problems with verifying whether the facility that is going to be erected / rebuilt / renovated will require a permit, notification or the possibility of making the above-mentioned activities without informing the architectural authorities. What changes has the legislator made? The answer is below.

Definition of the "object impact area"

One of the changes made by the Act of February 13, 2020 amending the provisions of the Construction Law Act is the change of the definition of the "object impact area".

In its previous wording, the area of ​​impact of the object should be understood as the area designated in the vicinity of the construction object on the basis of separate regulations, introducing restrictions related to this object in the development - including development - of this area.

In the present wording, the area of ​​impact of the object should be understood as the area designated in the vicinity of the construction object on the basis of separate regulations introducing restrictions on the development of this area related to this object.

Narrowing the definition of the object's impact area resulted in the following:

  1. the group of people who participate, for example, in the construction permit procedure will be narrowed down;

  2. limitations related to the erection of buildings only apply to buildings, not land development, and thus apply only to facilities located on the plot or the distance between buildings.

Narrowing the definition will undoubtedly streamline the procedure and avoid the need to study the impact of a building in land development.

Changes introduced in Art. 29 of the Building Law

The content of art. 29 of the Construction Law Act has been significantly modernized and systematized, thanks to which a person / entity planning a construction project will be able to easily check whether the object he intends to erect requires a building permit, only a notification or it will not be necessary to inform the architectural authorities about taking any action.

Due to the length of the above-mentioned the most important changes introduced by the amendment will be listed below.

Objects requiring notification

Among the facilities that require notification, and not obtaining a building permit, the following should be indicated:

  1. detached single-family residential buildings, the impact area of ​​which is entirely located on the plot or plots on which they were designed;

  2. sewage treatment plants with a capacity of up to 7.50 m3 per day

  3. freestanding:

  • one-story farm buildings,

  • garages,

  • shelters

- with a building area of ​​up to 35 m2, and the total number of these objects on the plot may not exceed two for every 500 m2 of the plot area;

  1. home:

  • porches,

  • conservatories (winter gardens)

- with a building area of ​​up to 35 m2, and the total number of these objects on the plot may not exceed two for every 500 m2 of the plot area;

  1. detached one-story buildings for individual recreation understood as buildings intended for periodic rest, with a building area of ​​up to 35 m2, and the number of such facilities on the plot may not exceed one for every 500 m2 of the plot area;

  2. aboveground home terraces with a building area of ​​over 35 m2.

Of course, the above objects are only an indication of some objects, a detailed list can be found in Art. 29 sec. 1 of the Building Law.

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Facilities that do not require a building permit or notification

It does not require a building permit decision and the notification referred to in Art. 30, construction:

  1. outbuildings related to agricultural production and supplementing the farm buildings within the existing habitat plot:

a) one-story farm buildings with a development area of ​​up to 35 m2, with a construction span of no more than 4.80 m,

b) container dryers with a building area of ​​up to 21 m2;

  1. shelters with a building area of ​​up to 50 m2, located on a plot with a residential building or intended for housing construction, and the total number of these shelters on the plot may not exceed two for every 1000 m2 of the plot area;

  2. free-standing gazebos with a building area of ​​up to 35 m2, and the total number of these objects on the plot may not exceed two for every 500 m2 of the plot area;

  3. allotment gazebos and farm buildings referred to in the Act of December 13, 2013 on family allotment gardens;

  4. bus shelters and platform shelters;

  5. one-story buildings with a development area of ​​up to 35 m2, serving as facilities for the ongoing maintenance of railway lines, located on areas owned by the State Treasury, with the exception of buildings located in the Natura 2000 area;

  6. parking spaces for passenger cars, up to and including 10, except for those located in the Natura 2000 area;

  7. utility buildings with an area of ​​development up to 35 m2 with a construction span of no more than 4.80 m and ponds and water reservoirs with an area not exceeding 500 m2 and a depth not exceeding 2 m from the natural area of ​​land intended solely for forest management purposes and located on the Treasury forest land States, except those located in the Natura 2000 site;

  8. free-standing telephone booths, telecommunications cabinets and posts;

  9. self-powered parking meters;

  10. exits from poviat and commune roads and parking bays on these roads;

  11. culverts with an internal cross-section up to 0.85 m2;

  12. home swimming pools and ponds up to 50 m2;

  13. construction objects which are devices for water drainage;

  14. coastal bands and other artificial, surface or linear fortifications of the banks of rivers and mountain streams as well as the sea shore, the shore of internal sea waters, not constituting retaining structures;

  15. ramps intended for disabled people;

  16. telecommunications cable lines;

  17. measuring devices, including fences and internal roads, of the state hydrological and meteorological service and the state hydrogeological service:

a) posts: gauges, meteorological, rainfall and groundwater,

b) points: groundwater levels observation and groundwater quality monitoring,

c) observation piezometers and encapsulated sources;

  1. small architecture objects, with the exception of small architecture objects in public places;

  2. fences not exceeding 2.20 m in height;

  3. facilities intended for temporary use during the execution of construction works, located on the construction site, and setting up barracks used in the performance of construction works, geological surveys and geodetic measurements;

  4. temporary construction works constituting only exhibition exhibits, without any utility functions, located on areas designated for this purpose;

  5. geodetic signs, as well as triangulation objects, outside the area of ​​national parks and nature reserves;

  6. field construction facilities, in particular defensive posts, crossings, earthworks, fortification structures, temporary installations and container facilities, located in closed areas designated by the Minister of National Defense to conduct military exercises using field camps and fortifications of the area to pretend to conduct direct combat;

  7. housing of groundwater intakes;

  8. charging points, as defined in Art. 2 point 17 of the Act of 11 January 2018 on electromobility and alternative fuels, excluding the charging infrastructure for public road transport within the meaning of Art. 2 point 3 of this act;

  9. devices located in the road lane of public roads, including foundations, supporting structures and associated equipment elements:

a) for road management, including the implementation of intelligent transport systems,

b) used for road traffic management, including road safety devices,

c) referred to in Art. 13o paragraph 1 and art. 20 g of paragraph 1. 1 of the Act of March 21, 1985 on public roads;

  1. ATMs, ticket machines, cash deposit machines, vending machines, automatic parcel storage machines or machines used to perform other types of services up to 3 m high, inclusive;

  2. container facilities with installations and connections and networks related to them:

a) electricity,

b) water supply,

c) sanitary sewage system,

d) thermal

- located in closed areas designated by the decision of the Minister of National Defense;

  1. above-ground tanks being construction objects, used to store class III liquid fuels, for the user's own needs, with a capacity of up to 5 m3;

  2. home ground terraces with a development area of ​​up to 35 m2;

  3. ponds and water reservoirs not exceeding 1000 m2 and not exceeding 3 m deep, located entirely on agricultural land.

It follows from the above that the catalog of facilities for which it is not necessary to apply for a building permit or even to submit a notification is quite wide, but it should be noted that it is a closed catalog, i.e. it applies only to facilities indicated in Art. 29 sec. 2 of the Building Law.

Additionally, art. 29 sec. 4 of the Construction Law Act introduces four categories of works for which the consent of the architectural and construction administration authority is not required. Belong to them:

  1. reconstruction,

  2. renovation,

  3. installing and

  4. hardening of the ground surface on building plots.

Legalization of lawlessness

For some, an equally important change may be the simplified method of legalizing the so-called unauthorized construction, the construction of which was completed over 20 years ago.

Pursuant to Art. 49f of the Construction Law, in the event of the construction of a building object or its part:

  1. without the required building permit, or

  2. without the required application or despite objections being raised to that application

- if at least 20 years have elapsed since the completion of the construction, the construction supervision authority initiates a simplified legalization procedure.

This is quite a positive change, as it allows the construction supervision to obtain information about buildings that have been erected without the permits / applications required by law, which will allow, for example, their periodic inspection, while the owners of such buildings will avoid legalization fees provided that they meet the requirements set out in the Act - Art. 49g of the Building Law.

Technical conditions 2021

It is also worth remembering about the technical conditions in force from January 1, 2021 in the field of environmentally friendly and energy-saving construction.

The technical conditions of WT 2021 - or otherwise known as the "WT2021 energy standard" - have been updated by the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction of April 8, 2019 on the technical conditions to be met by buildings and their location.

These laws focus on three main areas, namely:

  1. reducing the primary energy demand of buildings;

  2. increasing the energy efficiency of building envelopes and other elements of the house structure,

  3. modernization of heating boilers and dissemination of devices generating renewable energy.

Therefore, when planning the construction of a house in 2021, it is worth remembering about the technical standards related to WT2021, including whether the devices we install (windows, doors, boilers) meet the conditions related to energy efficiency standards (appropriate insulation and heat loss coefficients).