Prague 8 Building Authority has banned the activities of the centre in the Karlín Barracks

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-06-05   20:38

The building authority of Prague 8 has banned the Kasárna Karlín cultural and social centre in Prague 8 from operating. Martin Šalek, spokesman for Prague 8, confirmed this yesterday. The organisers held film screenings and concerts in the barracks and also operated a bar, café and sauna. Prague City Councillor Adam Zábranský (Pirates) said that he was surprised and sorry by the decision. The city is now discussing an amendment to the zoning plan that will allow the centre. According to the centre's spokesman Radek Pavlovič, the barracks is cooperating with the authority, has corrected the criticisms and has already submitted an application for an additional building permit including all documents.

The building has been owned by the capital city since January this year, which swapped it as part of a property swap with the state. In April this year, the city decided to have an analysis made of the further development of the listed barracks.

"The building authority inspected the premises last year and then repeatedly asked the operator to rectify the defects that repeated investigations had found. The internal premises where the centre is housed are not structurally suitable for such an operation, nor is it approved," Salek said.

The cultural and social centre, under the name Kasárna Karlín, first opened to the public in June 2017. The organisers have built a summer cinema in the building's courtyard, organised concerts there and people can have refreshments in one of the bars or cafes. The association has also built a sauna or a beach volleyball court.

"We have been working long term and consistently to ensure that all formal obligations are fulfilled on our part and we certainly have not underestimated this aspect from the very beginning. All the material and formal defects found on the site by the building authority have been rectified in the past, and on Monday 3 June we submitted all the necessary documents for the additional building permit. Including positive statements from the authorities concerned," said Pavlovič.

According to Pavlovič, the decision to close the building has only a formal reason and the Kasárna Karlín centre is ready to serve the public safely immediately. "We are confident that the re-licensing will be carried out as soon as possible and then it will be possible to resume full operation of the cultural and social centre," he said.

Prague's leadership stands by the fact that the centre should remain in the barracks. "However, it is not possible to act in contravention of the law and at a time when the Prague 8 building authority has banned the activity, there is no choice but to comply. We did not initiate this decision of the state administration and I am very sorry. I find it strange that for some seven years, when the Karlín Barracks have been in operation, the building authority had no problem, and shortly after the property was taken over from the state by Prague, without anything else changing, the building authority banned the activity," Zábranský said.

According to him, the basic problem is the unlicensed buildings and the non-compliance with the zoning plan, where the barracks are listed as an area for the army and security. The change of the zoning plan is already being addressed by the capital. "I believe that at the turn of this year and next year the city council will issue the change. As far as the approval of the buildings is concerned, this is mainly the responsibility of the current user, who has implemented the buildings in recent years and, according to my information, has already brought an application for an additional building permit to the building office. I hope he will be successful," Zábranský added.

The Prague city administration decided in January this year to have an analysis of the future use of the barracks prepared. The document will be prepared by the city's organisation, the Prague Development Company (PDS), and will suggest what could be in the space. According to earlier statements by city officials, the monument could be used for educational and social activities. Housing for students could also be created.

The historic building of the Karlin barracks dates back to the 19th century and was used for military purposes during the Czechoslovak and Czech Republic periods. The building has been listed since 1958. In the past, the state has repeatedly tried to sell the premises, but without success.

Source: CTK

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