§ 13b BauGB: Associations file complaint in Brussels

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Joint press release by DNR, BBN, bdla, BUND, NABU, SRL and UVP-Gesellschaft

With the support of the associations BDLA, BBN, BUND, NABU, SRL and the environmental umbrella organisation DNR, the EIA Society has lodged a complaint with the EU Commission in Brussels against the Federal Republic of Germany for infringing the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (EU Directive 2001/42). With the addition of Section 13 b to the Building Code, which came into force in May 2017, local authorities will in future be able to carry out accelerated development plan procedures for outdoor areas without having to assess the environmental impacts in advance in a systematic and transparent procedure.

The associations had already pointed out the undesirable development during the legislative process. At the beginning of the year, the Bundesrat also recommended that the paragraph be deleted due to a possible conflict with European law. Since all concerns on the part of the legislator were ignored, the associations now hope that the EU Commission will take a critical look at the amendment to the Building Code and call on the Federal Government to correct the paragraph.

The new regulation is also in clear contradiction to the German government's sustainability strategy, which explicitly envisages reducing land consumption to 30 hectares per day by 2020. "Before sealing any more land, local authorities should place a clear focus on internal development and make new and better use of already built-up areas through land recycling, redensification and clever usage concepts," the associations say.

The associations fear that due to the lack of environmental assessments, areas that are particularly valuable ecologically will be built on. In addition, localities could grow into landscapes in need of protection on the edges of settlements in an urban planning irresponsible manner. "From an ecological point of view, some valuable biotopes are falling victim to municipal rapid development here. The approach of the Federal Government clearly violates the EU Directive 2001/42 on Strategic Environmental Assessment and is therefore a case for the European Court of Justice," the associations criticize.

The accelerated procedures without environmental assessments and the resulting land consumption will have an impact on townscape designs, local recreation areas and biotope networks. Not least for endangered species of the red list the examination-free development would have fatal consequences.

  • Complaint of the EIA Society
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