Shield 2.0 and construction law
The Act of 2 March 2020 on Special Solutions Involving Preventing, Counteracting and Combating COVID-19, Other Contagious Diseases and the Crisis Caused by Them [“Anti-crisis Act”] has provided for far less formalized construction process and limitation of investor’s duties as regards investments connected with counteracting COVID-19.
Pursuant to art. 12 of the Anti-crisis Act, regulations of the broadly understood construction law do not apply to designing, construction, reconstruction, repairs, maintenance and demolition of structures, including to changing the manner of occupancy. The investor is not under the obligation to obtain the construction permit or to notify the construction works to be done, to satisfy the requirements concerning the use of property determined in the local zoning plan, an access to a public road and protection of historical monuments. The investor must only promptly inform the architecture and construction administration authority about carrying out construction works or change in the manner of occupancy of structure or a part of it.
And in the case of construction works that would need the construction permit under the Construction Law Act, the investor must additionally ensure the management and supervision of the works by persons having appropriate construction qualifications.
The duty to inform the architecture and construction administration authority was introduced on 1 April 2020 but it also pertains to the construction works and changes in the manner of occupancy set before that date, unless they involve structures connected with counteracting COVID-19.
The new law named Shield 2.0 assumes the relevant adjustment of the above-described regulations to the building structures involved in ensuring the continuity of provision of material services, specifically as regards telecommunications, public communications, transport, health service, power supply, trade, water or sewage system management, waste water treatment, public order and defence.
Thus, construction law provisions are not applied to designing, construction, reconstruction, repairs, maintenance and demolition of such structures. The information about carrying out the construction works should be given to the architecture and construction administration authority, and for works requiring the construction permit, it is necessary to appoint the investor supervision inspector and the site manager.
The information must specify the kind, range and manner of execution of the construction works and the date of the works commencement. The law does not provide any other formal requirements in respect of that information and does not make the commencement of the works conditional upon providing the information to the authority, even less - upon its consent. If the carrying out of the works causes risk to life or health, the architecture and construction administration authority promptly sets in its decision the requirements concerning the necessary protection of the works carrying out, and the investor is under the obligation to respect the decision.
Exemption from the duty to obtain the occupancy permit
Shield 2.0 exempts the investor from the duty to obtain the permit prior to beginning the occupancy of the building structure (art. 31zy1). The applications already filed for the occupancy permit in respect of which the decision to grant permit has not been made, are to be treated as the notifications of the construction completion referred to in the construction law. The authority has 14 days for expressing objection to such requests-notifications. If an objection is not expressed or the authority issues its certificate on there being no grounds for an objection, the occupancy of the structure may begin.
The above-said exemption does not concern the broadly understood unpermitted construction (i.e. the situation referred to in art. 49.5 and art. 51.4 of the Construction Law Act). Here, the obligation to obtain the construction permit continues to apply.