Do you have an allotment garden? Important changes to the law are coming

Do you have an allotment garden?  Important changes to the law are coming

During the pandemic, Poles rushed to Family Allotment Gardens (ROD). Now allotment owners are concerned about the future of their estates due to the new regulations. Some people decide to take a radical step.

When the pandemic raged four years ago, a boom in the purchase of ROD plots began. In the face of the restrictions being introduced (at one point, even walks in the forest were banned), Poles wanted to have a piece of land where they could escape from the difficult everyday life and spend some time “outdoors” without explaining to anyone.

Changes in the law for owners of allotment gardens

Now the owners of allotment gardens are concerned about their future. This is related to the amendment to the Spatial Planning and Development Act adopted by the previous Parliament. The act introduces a new planning tool for the entire commune – a general plan. This will be an act of local law with which both local plans and decisions on development conditions will have to comply. This is intended to simplify, speed up and standardize procedures for spatial planning in municipalities. Municipalities have until 2025 to adopt general plans.

General plans of municipalities include, among others: introduction of the so-called planning zones. The regulations provide for the possibility of creating thirteen types of such zones, and allotment gardens are listed in only three of them. The Polish Association of Allotment Owners warns that “this makes there a real threat that a significant part of RODs will be subject to decisions opening the possibility of their liquidation, already at the initial stage of preparing planning documents.”

– The regulations open the door to eliminating gardens throughout Poland. If the general plan, which replaced the study, assumes that single-family buildings will be built in the garden area, allotment owners will no longer be able to do anything – Anna Zaniewska, member of the management board of ROD Siekierki in Warsaw, pointed out in an interview with “Gazeta Wyborcza”.

Allotment gardeners tried to block the adoption of the regulations in their current form during work on the act. They sent hundreds of collective speeches and petitions from garden users from all over the country to the Ministry of Development and Technology. However, their voices were not heard.

The Polish Association of Allotment Owners argues that the areas occupied by ROD have been of interest to developers for a long time. If those in power do not introduce the expected changes, blocks of flats will be built instead of plots.

– It is common knowledge that for years, the developer community has been pointing to gardens as a reservoir of investment areas in cities. If – as the ministry proposes – when preparing general plans, the ROD area would become a multi-family development zone on its own, then – when preparing local plans – at least part of the ROD would have to be allocated to the basic profile of such a zone – convinces the organization.

Allotment gardeners demand that RODs be allowed to exist in each of the planned planning zones.

Representatives of the Ministry of Development claim that allotment gardens are not at risk. – I deny the information that the ministry wants to liquidate allotment gardens. (…) On the contrary. We want to support allotment gardeners and ensure that any changes in spatial policy take into account their needs – argued the deputy head of the ministry, Jacek Tomczak, in the “Sygnały Dnia” program on Polish Radio.

Such assurances do not reassure allotment gardeners, and the specter of new regulations encourages many of them to take radical steps. While four years ago we had the above-mentioned boom in the purchase of RODs, now we are observing the opposite trend.

Do new regulations encourage the sale of plots?

Analyzes by the Polish Economic Institute (PIE) show that while in the first three months of this year there were on average nearly 500 offers per week on real estate advertising portals, in April this number doubled. PIE predicts that even more plots may be available for sale in the second quarter.

Most offers for sale of recreational plots appear in large cities. In Warsaw, in January-April this year. over 300 such advertisements appeared. The number of offers in other cities ranged from 240 to 280. There is also a noticeable increase in offers in counties surrounding large cities. There were 160 offers in the Poznań and Bydgoszcz poviats, and 85 in the Wołomin poviat.

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