President Pavel signs law abolishing the Supreme Construction Authority
The planned Supreme Construction Office and the system of regional construction offices subordinate to it will not be created. The abolition of the purely state construction administration in the new 2021 construction law was signed by President Petr Pavel in a government amendment to the construction law. This was announced yesterday by the Castle. The building authorities will remain with the municipalities. Only the Transport and Energy Construction Authority will be created, subordinated to the Transport Ministry, which will be mainly responsible for transport and energy construction. The amendment to the new Construction Act, as approved, is intended to speed up and simplify construction procedures.
The creation of a state construction administration and the transition of construction offices under the state was envisaged in the new construction law of 2021, which was pushed through by the then government of Andrej Babiš (ANO). However, the then opposition parties, which now form the ruling coalition, did not like the creation of the new state authority and decided to abolish it. The amendment maintains the 694 current building authorities in municipalities, with the possibility of reducing this number according to building activity.
The amendment to the Construction Act is due to come into force on 1 July 2024 and to apply to designated construction sites, such as highways or power stations, from 1 January 2024.
The Senate Constitutional Law Committee wanted to insert a rule in the amendment that building authorities in municipalities should be maintained by law, not just by a decree of the Ministry of Regional Development. Regional Development Minister Ivan Bartoš (Pirates) disagreed. Since the senators approved the amendment, they did not deal with the proposal afterwards.
Thanks to the amendment, builders could also get building permits more easily and quickly. This would be made possible by the procedure whereby the building authority itself would go around the other authorities concerned and obtain their opinions in a so-called coordinated binding opinion. This opinion will now also include the so-called single environmental statement (SEA) under the completely new law. At the end there should be only one stamp for the builder. The building authority could also trigger negotiations with the authorities concerned and the builder if necessary.
The amendment, as approved, should also allow for the regularisation of some black buildings. In order to be legalised, a building must comply with the municipality's master plan or zoning measures, and compliance with public interests or public transport and technical infrastructure requirements will also be required.
If someone appeals the decision of the building authority, the superior authority will have to make a decision. The file will not be returned to a lower level. If necessary, the building authority will be able to initiate negotiations with the authorities concerned and the builder, for example to protect the environment. The builder would therefore be able to learn immediately of any potential conflict with the protection of the public interest.