News

Expropriation of land for the construction of a metro line

28.03.2019

Under section 3 (1) of Act no. 184/2000 Coll., on expropriation, as amended (the “Expropriation Act”), expropriation may take place for a special statutory reason if the public benefit involved outweighs the need to protect the existing rights of the original owner.

One purpose for which land may be expropriated is set out in Act no. 266/1994 Coll., on railways, as amended (the “Railways Act”). According to the definitions in section 3(1) (f) of the Railways Act, a metro is a special type of railway designed primarily to serve municipal transport needs. Under section 5 (1) of the Act, the construction of this railway is understood to be in the public benefit. Section 5 (2) also states that in order to construct a metro line, expropriation may be used to acquire or limit the title to land or buildings and/or rights deriving from a related easement. The Railways Act, thus, highlights a specific reason why expropriation may be used.

It is also worth noting that the public benefit served by metro line construction is mentioned in related zoning and planning documentation. Of relevance here is Act no. 416/2009 Coll., on the accelerated construction of transport, water, energy and electronic communication infrastructure, as amended (“Accelerated Construction Act”). Section 1 of the Accelerated Construction Act sets out procedures for acquiring land and buildings that are required for construction work and to speed up the preparation of related property. This construction includes the building of “transport infrastructure” under section 1 (2) (d) of the Accelerated Construction Act, i.e. the construction of transport infrastructure which is understood to be in the public benefit in relevant zoning and planning documents.

Among other things, procedures for acquiring rights to land and buildings for carrying out the aforementioned constructions in order to accelerate their property preparation. In this case, the mentioned construction means "construction of transport infrastructure" according to § 1 par. d) of the Act on Acceleration of Construction, ie the construction of transport infrastructure defined in the spatial planning documentation as publicly beneficial.