There are about 140 million sqm of brownfields in the Czech Republic

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2024-06-06   10:08
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By the end of 2023, there were over 4,400 brownfields in the Czech Republic with a total area of more than 14,000 hectares (140 million square metres). Since 2015, the state has invested more than CZK 11 billion in their renewal through subsidy programmes. This is based on data from the CzechInvest agency, which was presented at yesterday's conference in Pardubice.

According to CzechInvest, although the billions of euros of financial support prove that the state is very interested in the development of brownfields, they are low compared to private sector investments. According to Leona Gergelová Šteigrová, director of the MMR's Public Investment, Construction and Social Inclusion Section, the approval of a new construction law speeding up the permitting of buildings has contributed to the renewal of brownfields. However, the upcoming reform of spatial planning will also be key.

According to Petr Oček, director of the digitisation and innovation section at the MIT, his office has also contributed to the improvement of the brownfield situation in the Czech Republic. "In the locations we have identified, which are 90 per cent brownfield, regeneration for industrial use will be able to take place significantly faster. Today we are in a situation where we have eight sites for which the mandatory processes are faster and there is also easier removal from the agricultural land fund," he added.

On the other hand, the current legislative regulations are not sufficient, according to Tomáš Kadeřábek, director of the Association of Developers. "The ideal solution for real change on brownfields would be the adoption of a specific law that would conceptually address the development of these areas and would allow for more dynamic changes to zoning plans, including a more relaxed application of certain standards or ordinances," Kadeřábek said. However, there could also be discussions on introducing tax breaks and other financial incentives for brownfields revitalisation projects.

However, Kadeřábek said that a good step would also be, for example, the establishment of an exemption for brownfields from the conditions defined in the Agricultural Land Fund Protection Act, which would allow their automatic removal from the agricultural land fund.

The amendment, which has already been approved by the Senate and is awaiting the President's signature, provides that large shopping and logistics centres over one hectare in size and standard photovoltaic power plants would not be allowed to be built on prime agricultural land. The aim is to limit the seizure of land classified in the first and second protection classes according to the so-called soil ecological unit. Solar energy installations should only be built on agricultural land that is normally farmed. It would also introduce a ban on the sale of agricultural land to owners outside the European Union.

Source: CTK

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