Developers of greenfield land should be informed that, as of 1 December 2009, the law regarding tree felling in areas other than woodland has been amended.

The new law removes the imbalance between the regime applicable to natural persons and that applicable to legal entities, as the treatment of natural persons had been more favourable in the past.

Apart from a few statutory exceptions clearly defined in the law, a permit from the environmental authorities shall always be required in respect of tree felling. Such permit may be issued for material reasons following the evaluation of the functional and aesthetic importance of the trees.

The application for the issue of a permit for tree felling in areas other than woodland is filed by the owner or tenant of the respective land, or by any other authorised user that has the consent of the owner of the land on which the trees grow, and shall contain expressly enumerated specifications including a statement on the reasons for the application.

The size of trees to which the aforementioned applies is set out in the Decree of the Ministry of Environment. To our knowledge, a new Decree is now being prepared at the Ministry. We have been informed that the new Decree should set out more detailed and stricter rules than those that have applied so far. The new Decree is expected to be issued in the first quarter of 2010.

Law: Act No. 114/1992 Coll., on the Protection of Nature and Landscape

Decree of the Ministry of Environment No. 395/1992 Coll., implementing certain provisions of Act No. 114/1992 Coll., on the Protection of Nature and Landscape

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The original publication date for this article was 11/12/2009.