The Senate has approved the Act on wind turbine investments (the “Act”) which was adopted on 25 May 2016 by the lower house of the Polish Parliament. No amendments were made, so the following controversies are still relevant:
Firstly, under the Act, a wind turbine (along with its foundation, tower and technical elements) shall constitute a building in the meaning of the Construction Law. This change may lead to a significant increase in the amount of real estate tax to be paid by wind farm operators.
The location of a wind farm will have to be designated in the local zoning plan only, which has to set out the total maximum height of the wind turbine.
The distance between the wind turbines and households or mixed purpose buildings should be equal to or greater than ten times the total height of the wind turbine. In relation to operating wind farms, only repair works and necessary works are allowed – any actions aiming at increasing the productivity of a wind farm are forbidden.
Moreover, under the Act, building permits issued before the Act’s entry into force will remain valid, provided that a permit for use of the wind farm is issued within three years of the Act entering into force. If such permit is not obtained within this period, the constructed wind farm will have to be demolished upon an order of the construction supervisory authority.
The Act on wind turbine investments will not apply to offshore wind generators.
The Act is to be passed to the President for his signature and then will enter into force 14 days after the date of publication.