On July 18, 2018, the Senate passed a bill to amend Act no. 416/2009 Coll. on expediting the construction of traffic, water, energy and communications infrastructure, as amended (the Linear Facilities Act or LFA).

The aim of the amendment is to facilitate and hasten the construction of transport, energy and communications infrastructure. To this end, it includes a list of transport infrastructure for which the land expropriation process should be made easier under interim decisions. The bill also introduces a concept of implicit consent that should speed up the work of authorities.

Under Czech law, expropriation is subject to Article 11 (4) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms as well as Act no. 184/2006 Coll., on the expropriation or limitation of ownership of land or structures, as amended (the Expropriation Act). The LFA concerns only a limited set of expropriation issues. All remaining issues are subject to the Expropriation Act.

Under the LFA amendment, the basic purpose of an interim decision is to expedite the building of transport infrastructure listed in the land development principles and included in an annex to the LFA. Interim decisions may be issued in situations where expropriation has been delayed solely because of a dispute over the amount of compensation due for expropriation. As such, these decisions are meant to prevent building delays in cases where there is a dispute with the landowner about the compensation due for the expropriation of their property. After an interim decision has been issued, construction can begin regardless of any compensation disputes.

Expropriating bodies that have met the prescribed conditions should apply to the relevant authority to issue an interim decision. The authority will start by approving the commencement of construction work. Any dispute over compensation will then be resolved. The LFA amendment also allows for the construction of the authority’s consent. In particular, if an authority fails to issue a binding opinion within 60 days, it will be deemed to have approved a project. This should encourage authorities to issue their opinions on time. This rule does not apply, however, to the issuing of binding opinions related to environmental impact assessments (EIAs).

The amendment also includes provisions designed to speed up the creation of Internet networks. For electronic connections extending up to 100 metres, it will no longer be necessary to obtain zoning permits, zoning approvals or occupancy permits. Again, however, these exemptions will not apply in cases where an EIA is needed.

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