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Integrated development plan

The July 2023 amendment to Poland’s Spatial Planning and Development Act introduced a special form of local zoning plan—the integrated development plan. It grants communes and investors more freedom to locate development projects, regardless of the findings of the existing local zoning plan. Ultimately, integrated development plans will replace the resolutions on siting of housing developments issued under the housing special act (such resolutions can be issued until the end of 2025). But an integrated development plan can be enacted for any type of project, not just residential projects.

The integrated development plan covers the area of the main project, which might be, for example, an industrial plant or a shopping mall, and complementary projects e.g. in the form of a public road, school or park, but also structures for commercial or service uses, as long as they serve the main development.

An integrated development plan may be adopted by the commune council at the request of the investor, submitted via the head of the commune (wójt, burmistrz or prezydent, depending on the type of commune), after conducting negotiations and conclusion of an urban planning agreement.

Importantly, entry into force of an integrated development plan for an area covered by a local zoning plan will supersede the local zoning plan or the parts thereof relating to the area covered by the integrated development plan.

Formal requirements for a draft integrated development plan

The investor must enclose a draft integrated development plan with the application for adoption of the plan. Therefore, it is essential for the investor to draft a plan that meets the requirements set forth in the act.

If the draft does not meet certain requirements, the head of the commune will summon the investor to submit a draft complying with these requirements within no more than 14 days. If the investor does not cure these deficiencies in time, the head of the commune will refuse to consider the application—this can be appealed to the province governor, and is governed by the Administrative Procedure Code.

Procedure for adopting an integrated development plan

In the next stage, the head of the commune will forward the application to the commune council within three working days of receipt (or correction of deficiencies).

Subsequently, the commune council may agree to proceed with preparation of an integrated development plan, with the commune council having unlimited discretion in making a decision. If the commune council gives its approval, the head of the commune may then:

  • Negotiate with the investor or a third party who is the owner or perpetual usufructuary of the property on which a complementary project is to be carried out on the wording of the draft urban planning agreement and the draft integrated development plan
  • Amend the integrated development plan, providing a justification
  • Prepare an environmental impact forecast, if required, and a draft urban planning agreement.

The commune council cannot amend the draft integrated development plan, but may only pass a resolution to return the plan to the head of the commune along with its proposals.

Concurrently, the head of the commune will seek opinions, approvals and permits required by law for changing the use of agricultural and forest land, as well as announce and conduct public consultations.

Within 14 days after completion of the required opinions, approvals and public consultations, the head of the commune will amend the draft integrated development plan accordingly.

To the extent necessary, the head of the commune with renew the approval process, and if the changes involve an undertaking that may have a significant impact on the environment, also reopen the public consultations, and again make any resulting changes.

Subsequently, the head of the commune will conclude an urban planning agreement on behalf of the commune and submit to the commune council the draft integrated development plan as an annex to the urban planning agreement, along with a report summarising the course of public consultations, including a list of comments submitted, with a proposal for how they should be considered and a justification.

Urban planning agreement

The urban planning agreement is concluded in the form of a notarial deed. The parties to the agreement are the investor (or multiple investors who have submitted a single application for an integrated development plan) and the head of the commune.

By entering into an urban planning agreement, the investor commits to the commune to carry out a complementary project. Through the urban planning agreement, the investor may commit to the commune, in particular, to:

  • Transfer real estate that is part of the main project
  • Cover some or all of the costs of implementing the complementary project, including payment of the price for the real estate
  • Cover some or all of the costs incurred by the commune for adoption of the integrated development plan, including the costs of satisfying the claims of real estate owners or perpetual usufructuaries.

Also through the urban planning agreement, a commune may undertake to implement a complementary project if it falls within the scope of the commune’s own tasks, as well as exempt the investor in whole or part from the betterment fee (renta planistyczna, reflecting the increase in value of a site due to rezoning).

If the investor is the owner or perpetual usufructuary of the real estate on which the complementary project is to be carried out, it is obliged by the urban planning agreement to transfer the real estate to the commune.

The draft integrated development plan is an annex to the urban planning agreement, but the agreement will take effect from the effective date of the integrated development plan.

Importantly, pending conclusion of the urban planning agreement, the head of the commune may abandon negotiations over the draft urban planning agreement and draft integrated development plan. This solution is very unfavourable to investors who at the initial state of the planning procedure incurred costs to prepare a draft integrated development plan.

If the integrated development plan is set aside, amended or declared invalid within five years after entry into force, the parties to the urban planning agreement may withdraw from the planning agreement within the following six months.


We believe that the integrated development plan can be an interesting planning tool allowing for implementation of projects, especially if there are no feasible alternatives. However, it is worth considering introduction of legal instruments that would allow investors at the initial stage of the planning procedure to hold discussions with the commune representatives regarding the possibility of carrying out a specific project in a given area, before the investor commits significant funds for preparation of an integrated development plan. It would also be helpful to have guidelines regarding the scope of the complementary project that the investor will be required to carry out when implementing the main project. This would allow investors to rationally assess the profitability of their intended undertaking before commissioning urban planners to draft an integrated development plan.

Karolina Dawidczyk-Bełc, adwokat, Sylwia Moreu-Żak, attorney-at-law, Real Estate practice, Wardyński & Partners