On October 31, 2020, an amendment to the Act on Spatial Planning and Development entered into force, which introduced the requirement to create, maintain, update and share spatial data sets. A related government regulation has also entered into force.
Has the amendment to the Spatial Planning and Development Act and the Ordinance of October 26, 2020 on spatial data sets and metadata in the field of spatial development translated into the optimization of the process of searching for investment areas (plots for development)? Is it an ineffective formality for municipalities that have to spend public funds for this purpose?
The above-mentioned changes to the law, imposing, inter alia, obligation to provide spatial data services, were to facilitate investment processes and provide access to information on the planning procedure in progress, facilitating public participation.
As a result of the obligation on communes referred to in Art. 67a paragraph. 1 of the Act should be the creation, maintenance, updating and sharing of spatial data sets and the provision of network services using addresses included in the records of spatial data sets and services.
Estimates: 12.5 million per year for running network services
Communes in Poland fulfill this obligation mainly through external companies. Of course, for this reason, costs of providing network services are incurred, which according to estimates may amount to an average of approx. PLN 5,000 per commune. PLN for the year, which in relation to approx. 2.5 thousand. municipalities gives PLN 12.5 million per year.
From the perspective of a developer looking for investment areas through network services, do the expenses incurred by municipalities allow for the effect that the legislators wanted? Does the annual expenditure of PLN 12.5 million for the maintenance of network services translate into an increased participation of citizens, including potential investors, in the planning procedure in order to, inter alia, change the purpose of the land for investments?
The administration authority is obliged to create and update spatial data within 30 days from the date of adopting the resolution on commencing the preparation of the development plan / study or their changes. This requirement is obligatory from October 31, 2020. After the verification of selected spatial data services of the units in which such a resolution was adopted, it turned out that we would not get this access, because the services have not been updated or are not entered into the records at all.
The Chief National Surveyor is responsible for verifying the services
The update of the spatial data set can be verified, for example, on the dedicated CIEP Geonetwork platform, which is used to view WMS and WFS services and is also compliant with the act on spatial information infrastructure. This portal is made available by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, subordinate to the Ministry of Climate and Environment.
If the costs related to the contract between the municipality and an external company have been incurred and the network services do not work properly, the service provider is responsible for the incorrectness of the network services and the failure to update them. Contracts are concluded, the benefits of which are enjoyed by service providers, and the losses are borne by the State Treasury and residents, investors, etc.
According to the regulations, the person responsible for the verification of network services at the stage of their registration is the Chief National Surveyor. There are a lot of reported addresses in the register of addresses, which gives the impression that the regulations are working. Meanwhile, the vast majority of them are incorrect. These addresses should be verified by the body responsible for conducting matters resulting from substantive supervision of the minister responsible for construction, planning and spatial development, i.e. the Department of Architecture, Construction and Geodesy. Then this entity should send back the addresses for updating, as their content is misleading and not usable.
Why is the Ministry of Development and Technology not updating addresses and who benefits from it?