Two brand new laws to replace obsolete construction law

New legislation returns construction administration from municipal offices to the state

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Slovakia’s more than 40-year-old construction law will be replaced by a two brand new laws. One will deal with urban planning and the second one with construction. Even though the law from 1976 has been revised, more than 40 times so far in total, it is no longer suited to the conditions of a modern country.

The state secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Construction, Peter Durček (SNS nominee), and the head of the construction’s sector at the ministry, Tibor Németh, introduced working versions of the new construction legislation at a press conference on February 28.

“We try to especially focus on improving the processes of building permit proceedings as well as urban planning and making them more effective in order for the processes to be simpler, faster and more transparent,” said Durček as cited by the TASR newswire.

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The Construction Ministry’s plan is for the new construction legislation to create preconditions for more professional construction administration and the creation of a system that would prevent illegal construction.

Moreover, the new legislation should return construction administration from municipal offices to the state. The organisations of towns and villages of Slovakia have already showed disagreement with this plan.

In the time being a building approval procedure secured by municipalities lasts 286 days on average in Slovakia. In the European Union this is 165 days.

“We have to do something with this in order for us to get closer to the EU average,” said Durček as cited by the SITA newswire, adding that the new legislation addresses this issue.

Among other changes the ministry wants to introduce into urban planning law a mandate for all municipalities to have a master plan. Now only municipalities with more than 2,000 citizens have this duty.

The new construction law will introduce a new document – the building plan.

“The building plan should be a document in which a planned construction should be assessed from the technical and construction-technical viewpoints, in terms of location and accord with the master plan,” said Németh, adding that this should reduce the current two-round building approval procedure to a one-round procedure.

The final wording of the two new laws should be ready by June 30. The cabinet and then parliament should discuss the laws next spring. Ideally they may become effective in early 2020.

Efforts for new construction law

This is not the first effort of adopting a brand new construction law. The latest efforts failed in September 2015 when the Construction Ministry withdrew the draft bill from parliament prior to March 2016 parliamentary election after the criticism the bill harvested from the opposition and expert organisations.

The Construction Ministry started to work on the latest construction legislation in late 2016. Compared with the first bill, it does not contain the problematic zoning plan.

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