Institution are giving advantage to the private and not the public interest – Zoning plan of a special purpose area “Ada”

12.8.2016 - Banja Luka

On 14th of April 2016. the National Assembly of Republic of Srpska adopted by a summary procedure the Decision of making a zoning plan of a special purpose area “Ada”, with which it confirmed the suggestion of the government that the approach to this project of constructing a private tourist-catering complex should be considered as public interest. The adoption of decisions by a summary procedure avoided the legal obligations and avoided the procedure of the participation of public while passing this document.

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According to the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction of RS zoning plan of a special purpose can be done by summary proceedings only in cases when it comes to immediate care of the population of a devastated or flooded area or areas affected by natural disasters, and based on the decision of the National Assembly of Republic of Srpska it can be used in regards to building complex infrastructure, industrial infrastructure or similar facilities.

“It is clear that the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction in this case are not adequately applied. The adoption of the Decision on making Zoning Plan for the special purpose “Ada” in a shortened procedure institutions are consciously giving priority to the interests of investors in relation to the interest of the public, whose participation is almost completely avoided”, Viktor Bjelić, Center for environment.

In the regular procedure of the zoning plan, as well as any other spatial plan, there is a requirement for the development of a strategic assessment of the environment where it is estimated that the eventual realization of this plan will affect the environment. It is in this document that the natural values, and what impact the planned interventions and activities will have, and the public and civil society can give their opinion and recommendations, thereby lowering the potential consequences to a minimum.

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“Investor began with the works although the making of the procedures of the Zoning Plan is not yet completed, and it has not yet been adopted. In this way, procedures were violated. This lead to the destruction of habitats for many of the plant and animal species for which this area is registered as a natural value, in many of the planning documents”, Bjelić highlights.

Preliminary work as defined by the Water Guidelines issued by the public institution “The waters of the Republic of Srpska” mean terrain clearance, removal of garbage, removing rotten and downed vegetation, cleaning the Vrbas riverbed of gravel and sediment, and the formation of a slope coast. However, examining the field, we found that works differ substantially from those defined in the Water Guidelines. The construction work that started ,and it can be seen in the photographs, is with building materials and concrete, in which case they require a building permit.

Activity monitoring of public participation in decision-making is supported through the Transition ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

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