Prosecution Service Will Not Bring an Action Against Land-use Plan of Banská Bystrica

The Regional Prosecution Service decided to not to bring an action before court to review the legality of adoption of the land-use plan of the City Banská Bystrica, even though it had originally objected the illegality of the process. It has without any reasons resigned from its legal mission- to supervise the legality of the proceedings of the public administration bodies. Thus in Banská Bystrica there remains a threat of construction of controversial buildings and crowding of housing estates.

Few month ago City of Banská Bystrica adopted its new land-use plan which allows for example development close to the memorial of the Slovak National Uprising or development in the near zone of the Banská Bystrica’s Calvary which is neighbour to the hill Urpín. Moreover mentioned land-use plan also supposes crowding of housing estates by constructing new buildings in detriment of green areas and equally constructions of small hydroelectric power stations on the part of the river Hron inscribed in the city´s land registry.

Considering the fact that against these development intentions the public of Banská Bystrica has been struggling on the long-term basis, VIA IURIS presented a motion to the prosecution service, backed by more than 300 residents of Banská Bystrica.

As Eva Kováčechová, attorney from VIA IURIS mentioned: „ In the motion we stipulated several reasons of illegality of the land-use plan. It was approved in a contradiction with the initial assignment and with the land-use documentation of higher territorial unit. Further some accepted comments made by the public were not incorporated into it and the functional use of zones was illegally modified after the public discussion took place. Moreover we are convinced that District Office supervising the elaboration of the land-use plan exceeded its powers.”

The motion was presented against the proceeding of the City and the land-use plan it adopted and equally against the proceeding of the District Office in Banská Bystrica who was supervising the process of elaboration of the land-use plan and delivered a favourable opinion to it. The Regional Prosecution Service agreed with our motion and delivered a protest against the favourable opinion of the District Office, as it considered that the process of elaboration and adoption of the land-use plan was illegal. However the Ministry of the Transport, Construction and the Regional Development of the Slovak republic rejected the protest. So the Prosecution Service could bring an action before court which in this stage is the only one who can declare the illegality of the land-use plan. The Prosecution Service did not bring the action before court even though the reasons why it raised its protest have not changed.

VIA IURIS has been on long-term basis supporting active people who care about the place they live in and they like and that is why it initiated this motion before the Prosecution Service. Except for the action before court which can be brought only by the prosecutor, there does not exist currently any other legal mean to review the legality of the land-use plan in the court.

Lawyer from VIA IURIS Imrich Vozár adds: „Once again we could see that not always it is possible to rely on bodies which are supposed to protect rights and to supervise the compliance with laws. This situation relative to the court review of the legality of the land-use plan will however change after July 2016. At this time there will enter into force new administrative court procedure which will enable directly the public to bring an action before court to review the legality of the land-use plan. It will not be necessary to rely on the prosecution service anymore.”