Alarm over builders' big appetite for land
22. 4. 2016 | Source: BusinessInfo.cz
The office of agriculture minister Marian Jurečka is considering how to limit further losses of arable land in favour of the building industry.
It was five years ago that the state massively raised fees - by up to 15-fold - for transferring arable land out of the agricultural land fund in an attempt at overcoming the excessive appetite of developers. But it seems that in a time of economic growth that move does not suffice. And, the agriculture ministry says, it is not possible to endlessly put up the fees.
"The fees for the extraction of land from the fund are an instrument which is effective for the regulation of small individual constructions. But it has become apparent that as a means to regulate industrial constructions they have little effect, given the financial possibilities of big investors," said ministry spokesman Hynek Jordán.
An instrument for the protection of land must necessarily become part of territorial planning which decides what can be built and where. "One of the instruments which is also being considered is an absolute ban when it comes to exceptional land of the highest quality in the fund," added Jordan.
An average of seven thousand hectares of arable land are lost across the regions every year. Given that such land extends to 2.9 million hectares nationwide that might seem a relatively low number, but according to farmers the figure is alarming. It is always the case that switching the status of a parcel of land in favour of the builders is an irreversible move.
Environment ministry statistics show that it is not only builders of residential and industrial developments who are responsible for the depletion of arable land, but also miners of mineral resources.
Originally published in E15 weekly, economic and business newsmagazine. Author: Dušan Kütner