Why is it worth applying for development conditions as soon as possible?

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Are you planning to build a house? Have you noticed the information about the changes to the Spatial Planning Act coming into force on January 1, 2026? At first glance, the changes seem distant and have no major connection with building your dream house. However, it may turn out that the above-mentioned amendment will be of critical importance for future investments.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Act of September 2023, the current study of conditions and directions of spatial development becomes invalid, and in its place, each commune must adopt a so-called general plan. The legislator has set a deadline for this until the end of 2025.

The money to finance these studies was to come from the KPO. However, many local government officials warn in their statements that the funds necessary for this purpose were significantly underestimated by the previous government, and what’s worse, they have not yet reached the municipalities at all.

Why will no development conditions be issued after January 1, 2026?

What is the connection between municipalities’ problems and potential investments? Why is it so important to apply for development conditions as soon as possible?

– If the plot is not covered by the local development plan and a general plan has not been developed for it, after January 1, 2026, construction on such a plot may be practically impossible. Many experts warn that municipalities will have no legal basis to issue development conditions!– informs Wojciech Rynkowski from Extradom.pl.

If the commune council does not adopt a general plan before January 1, 2026, it will not be able to issue development conditions – this situation will continue until such a document is adopted.

Many communes will probably be able to adopt general plans within the set deadline, but many smaller ones, especially the less wealthy ones, may not be able to do so due to a lack of funds and an insufficient number of planners who will be able to prepare such documents.

How many municipalities have already adopted local development plans?

If MPZP and general plan are of key importance for the development of municipalities, it is worth asking how many of them have already adopted MPZP. Unfortunately, the answer is not optimistic. According to the Central Statistical Office data for 2022, there are 2,477 communes in Poland, of which only 317 had a local development plan adopted for 100% of their area. In turn, in 139 communes it was not adopted even for one of its fragments. The remaining 2,021 are at various stages of completion.

– The situation is complicated because after January 1, 2026, new areas for residential development will only be possible after the existing resources have been exhausted and the gaps indicated in the general plan have been filled. This means that development conditions will only be available for land located in areas intended for supplementary development, which is designated by general plans as one of the fourteen planning zones provided for in the Act – adds an expert from Extradom.pl.

Will the decision on development conditions be valid for only five years?

This means that it is worth getting interested in obtaining development conditions for your plot today. Especially since the Spatial Planning and Development Act also changes the validity period of development conditions. Those issued now are valid indefinitely. The new ones, which will be issued after January 1, 2026, will be valid only for 5 years. If we do not start construction within this time, after this period we will have to apply for new development conditions.

– If anyone thinks they still have a lot of time, because the regulations only change from 2026, I have to disappoint them. Queues of interested parties are already forming at municipal offices issuing development conditions. However, what is much more important is that the document will be available under the old rules if it becomes final by the end of next year. Therefore, if for some reason, e.g. as a result of an appeal, our decisions on development conditions fail to become legal, we will be bound by new rules and a five-year validity period for the documents.– sums up Rynkowski from Extradom.pl.

I asked the architect of Extradom.pl, Izabela Dolata, about whether after January 1, 2026 it will be possible to use the existing development conditions, which, however, have not yet become final.

Development conditions that do not become final before January 1, 2026 will continue to apply, but with a new validity period of 5 years.

A certain warning and indication to ensure that development conditions are obtained before January 1, 2026, is the situation that affected some investors who own agricultural plots with organic soils of classes I-VI and mineral soils of classes I-III. Due to the lack of a transitional period in the new act, despite having development conditions and meeting virtually all requirements, they cannot exclude the high-quality land they already own from agricultural production! Despite having valid WZs, they cannot build their dream house on the land they own.

It is worth applying for development conditions now

It is worth interested in obtaining development conditions well in advance to be sure that we will be able to complete the entire process, i.e. until the WZ becomes final before the end of 2025. Investors whose building plots are covered by a local development plan or whose communes manage to adopt general plans are in a much better situation – for them, the amendment to the Act introduces practically no changes.

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