The government agreed on a new building law at the end of August and sent it to the Chamber of Deputies. The Minister for Regional Development Klára Dostálová announced on Twitter that this will be a big step for the future of our country. However, most city representatives don't agree with this, according to them the biggest problem will be the spatial planning. The state now plans irresponsibly on behalf of the cities, even though it's detached from their needs. This needs to change in order for cities to prosper as the key to the economy. However, the experiences and the needs of large cities are not reflected in the draft of the new building law. Today, it started being discussed by the Chamber of Deputies.
The Ministry of Regional Development plans that the law will apply from the spring of the following year. It should take effect gradually by mid-2023.
However, the opposing democratic parties have called on the government to withdraw and rework the proposal. They consider it unprepared and disorganized, and believe it will definitely not speed things up. The same opinion is shared by the city representatives, according to whom the new building law is a step backwards. Among other things, they declared their desire to be able to acquire their own general technical requirements for construction, following the example of the Prague building regulations.
“The law is very problematic not only from the point of view of Prague, but also of other cities. This is a law that should deprive cities of their authority. Cities need more authority, not less,"
All participants in today's press conference on the new law agreed on the same thing - it doesn't address spatial planning. The city of Liberec, for example, has been working on it for 13 years and should come close to completing it over the next two years.
According to Pavel Šindelář (Deputy Mayor of the City of Pilsen), the Chamber of Deputies shouldn't be dealing with the law, it should return it to the discussion. At the press conference, he complained about the broken promise of the Minister Dostalová, who promised a dialogue between the cities and the ministry.
The representatives of Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Jihlava and Liberec expressed concerns at the press conference that the new building law wants to take away their authority in spatial planning and that they will not be able to complete their ongoing spatial plans. Minister for Regional Development Klára Dostálová would like to reassure large cities that they are not deprived of their authority in the field of spatial planning.
"The law envisions that spatial planning will remain within the delegated competence of municipalities as it is today, but in the future it could be within the independent competence of local administration, which would further strengthen their authority. For us, large cities were and are one of the most important partners in the preparation of the building law, and the Ministry of Regional Development would certainly not resort to anything within this law that would endanger the development of large cities,”
"The same way, I already assured Prague in September that the general construction requirements will be the same for the whole country, but they will be completely new and based on the Prague building regulations. The new regulations will take into account the needs of the large cities. We will definitely not go back 15 years. The national decree may be more "Prague" than the city officials can imagine. We really want a modern regulation and it will be such."
The new building law promises a significant acceleration of construction. The main goal is for builders to know within 345 days whether they could start building or not. Everyone should benefit from it - whether it is a person who wants to build a family home or a developer with dozens of apartments or a public investor.
"Every law we come up with has a simple ambition. To help the people of this country and bring them something fundamentally positive for their lives. What the government is coming up with is the exact opposite. The government is going in the opposite direction,"
said STAN chairman Vít Rakušan. According to him, the law comes up with a lot of new officials, with a system that citizens won't simply understand.
Unfortunately, the new law wasn't accepted even by Ivan Bartoš, who called it a non-conceptual hybrid. He claims that everything will cost more money and lacks a lot of important things.
City officials will thus continue to try to appeal to the ministry and try to amend the new building law. In their statement today, they stated that as a solution they propose to add a paragraph stating that statutory cities may have their own city building regulations, all spatial planning processes will be managed by cities, not managed by the state as before and last but not least, it should allow to complete the already divided work on the spatial plans of the largest Czech cities.