Polish ‘Spatial Planning’ amendment facilitates cooperation between business and local authorities

Available languages: PL

In July 2023, the Polish parliament enacted an amendment to the Spatial Planning and Development Act, which has introduced large-scale use of the Integrated Investment Plan (IIP), an alternative planning tool that has the potential to reshape cooperation between business and local authorities.

Characteristics of the new planning tool

The IIP has been designed as a flexible tool for locating and implementing investments, and maintaining compliance with the general plan (the general plan now replaces the existing studies of spatial development conditions and directions). The IIP is a formalised platform for cooperation between businesses that develop investment projects and municipalities participating in the benefits associated with this new form of developing spatial order and the implementation of complementary investments.

The IIP can be treated as a special local plan, dedicated to a specific investment and established by the municipal council at the request of the investor after negotiations and the signing of an urban planning agreement specifying the conditions for the planned investment and the obligations of the parties.

The IIP will cover the main and complementary investment, and its entry into force will result in the loss of validity of the local plans or their parts relating to the IIP.

Main and complementary investment

In a typical situation, an investor who carries out a main investment, for which the IIP is dedicated, can undertake to realise a complementary investment, which will be an investment for the local community. A complementary investment is ancillary and additional to the main investment. It may be a necessary element for the comprehensive implementation of the main investment or be a subsidiary element for the development of the IIP area.

For instance, the main investment could be the construction of a RES installation, and a complementary investment would be the extension of the technical infrastructure network, including construction of a section of a municipal road or the location of cable networks.

Procedure for adopting the IIP

The procedure is initiated by the investor who prepares the IIP project at his own cost and effort and then submits it to the mayor (in Polish: wójt, burmistrz, prezydent miasta) together with an application to commence the procedure. The IIP draft should meet the legal requirements for local plans. If the application or IIP is not complete, the investor is called upon to supplement the documentation within 14 days. Failure to remove the deficiencies in the documentation will result in the application being left unprocessed with the possibility of filing a complaint with regional authorities (i.e. voivode).

Documentation that meets the legal requirements is forwarded to the municipal council, which may give its consent to proceed with the preparation of the IIP. The municipality council’s consent is not necessary if the IIP concerns only the location of the RES (this does not apply to wind power plants).  

As a next step, the mayor enters into negotiations with the investor regarding the content of the urban planning agreement and the IIP draft. As in the case of procedures related to the local plan, the mayor obtains the opinions and agreements of other administrative authorities and will prepare an environmental impact assessment, if required. The IIP procedure is intended to be fully transparent, and the necessary documents are made available to the public for open consultation. Upon completion of these activities, the mayor concludes an urban planning agreement on behalf of the municipality in the form of a notarial deed. The IIP draft is attached to the urban planning agreement.

The municipal council is not a party to the negotiations on the draft urban planning agreement and the IIP draft, but its representative will take part in them. The municipal council has no right to amend the IIP draft. Its competence is confined to adopting or rejecting the IIP draft. In the latter case, the municipal council may return the IIP draft to the mayor with proposals for amendments to the urban planning agreement and the IIP draft. In that case, the mayor repeats the necessary actions concerning the draft urban planning agreement and the IIP draft.

Urban planning agreement

The conclusion of the urban planning agreement is a crucial element of the IIP adoption process. It determines the obligations of the investor and the municipality, including the investor’s obligation to carry out the complementary investment. It is not possible to adopt the IIP without formally concluding the urban planning agreement.

The urban planning agreement obligates the investor in favour of the municipality to carry out the complementary investment.

In particular, on the basis of the urban planning agreement, the investor may undertake for the benefit of the municipality to do one of the following:  

  • cover all or part of the costs of implementing the complementary investment, including payment of the price for the real estate from a third party on which the complementary investment is to be implemented;
  • cover all or part of the costs incurred by the municipality of enacting the IIP, including the costs of implementing the planning claims; or
  • transfer the real estate that is part of the subject of the main investment.                 

On the other hand, on the basis of the concluded urban planning agreement, the municipality may undertake to:

  • carry out the complementary investment when it falls within the scope of the municipality’s own tasks; and
  • exempt the investor in whole or in part from the obligation to pay the planning fee.

Entry into force and transitional regulations

The new regulations entered into force on 24 September 2023 and are already part of the current legal system.

Some solutions, mainly concerning the publication of materials as part of the IIP procedure in the Urban Register, will come into force on 1 January 2026.


In conclusion, the Amendment develops the potential for cooperation between business and municipalities in the planning area, which is a key aspect of the performance of any investment project. The new regulations create a space for business to take responsibility for spatial planning and provide municipalities with formal tools to engage investors more deeply in local matters. It remains to be seen whether it will encourage the addressees of the new legislation to see this potential and consider alternative spatial planning formulas when implementing investment projects.

For more information on Poland’s amendment to the Spatial Planning and Development Act, contact your CMS client partner or these local CMS experts.