Stobnica is a place where a medieval castle was built in the middle of the Noteć forest. And very good! Shame on eco-blackmailers! It’s not just about Natura 2000 and obsessive environmental protection, but about the relationship between local authorities and developers over which the state has insufficient control. And that’s a whole different story.
It turns out that there are more similar investments. An example is the Gołębiewski Hotel in Pobierowo or the planned investment in Rybaki in Warmia. Bartosz Kownacki, PiS MP, intervened in the issue of the latter location. Earlier, the leader of the party in power gave the signal to deal with the pat developers.
Does Kaczynski say “no” to another caste?
The President of Law and Justice travels through the country and meets with Poland. At the meeting in Konin, Jarosław Kaczyński referred to the case of Stobnica, where not so much the investment itself (let people build medieval castles, not crush concrete!), but the actions of officials raised – to say the least – serious doubts.
– A large castle has been built in the middle of the forest, on a protected site. I mean a castle, a hotel actually, but in the form of a castle. So what happened? Well, I’m not talking about punishment anymore, although crimes have certainly been committed there. But what? Has this castle been demolished? Oh no. Ladies and gentlemen, the television talked about it, parliamentarians talked about it and everything was like peas against the wall – pointed out Jarosław Kaczyński, adding that a change in the status of people who enjoy different privileges protected by immunities, including judges and parliamentarians, needed.
After the outbreak of the scandal in Stobnica, the Environment Minister ordered the General Director of Environmental Protection to launch an urgent inspection regarding the decision-making process related to this construction. Proceedings were also initiated by the public prosecutor in this case. Although a number of violations have been identified in recent years, construction continues as usual. The Superintendent of Construction Supervision decided to suspend construction, but in February the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw rejected it.
– I repeat: openly, in the eyes of the public, even when broadcasting on TV, a certain group of people can mock everything. We do not want such a Poland. And we admit that until now, thanks to or the fault of the opposition, who if they had behaved normally, we would have already done it, the PiS president said.
– We can’t change that. But we will manage to change it during this period, which has yet to be elected, (…) and in particular, if we win the elections, change it, we will lead Poland to a state in which decency will be implemented – Kaczynski announced.
In other words, the PiS president admitted that there are still no adequate measures to effectively combat ecclesiastical crimes and favor certain groups. This must change. Especially since there are more examples like the aforementioned Stobnica in Poland.
The mayor gave the land and then became the director
Bartosz Kownacki, Member of Parliament for Law and Justice, intervened in the matter of a number of controversial construction investments. In a letter to the Minister of the Environment and Climate, he states that a number of irregularities may have occurred in the planning and implementation of a number of high-profile cases.
“The activities of local self-government authorities and some bodies set up to monitor compliance with all regulations governing the principles of environmental protection in Poland also aroused a lot of controversy,” the MP wrote. He gave an example of a hotel in Pobierowo, called “Little Dubai” by some. Most interestingly, “the mayor of the municipality, who made the decision to sell this area to the investor and oversaw the process of making decisions that would allow the investor to build this controversial building, is currently the director of this hotel.” At this point, unfortunately, one should ask: where was the SCBA?
A similar, controversial, but only planned investment is the construction of a huge hotel in Rybaki in the Stawiguda Municipality of Warmia. Kownacki points out that in the case of Stobnica and Pobierowo, where controversial investments have already been made, little can be done at the moment, but a suspicious developer can be stopped in Rybaki. The investment is still in the planning phase and the appropriate approvals have been issued by the municipality.
Hotel in Rybaki. “Investigate the case for legality”
So the residents of Rybaki in Warmia, who are, most importantly, 40 people, are waiting for a revolution. The developer wants to build a hotel complex there with a residential area, where up to 2,000 people can stay. The hotel itself will have 700 beds. To illustrate the scale: there are as many beds as in three Grand Hotels in Sopot! The developer misleads the residents with the construction of a gas network, access roads or a water and sewage network, while at the same time trying to get the municipality to approve a local zoning plan that allows the construction of a hotel. It’s his right. However, what is surprising is the attitude of the municipal authorities, which, together with the investor, want to convince the residents to invest and even promise to build a gas network for nearby towns. So much effort for a private investor to be able to build up the area in the municipality? In local government it is unbelievable, not to say suspicious. What about that promise? I think he is exaggerated. The problem is that after receiving more detailed questions from residents about the construction of this connection, the municipality began to hide behind the lack of knowledge whether PGNiG would find such an investment profitable … But we know what the practice is. May the foundations be laid, and then there are hills. So we promise people everything.
However, not everyone can fall for these promises, and the investment did not only raise objections from the residents of Rybaki. A petition was created on the internet against “Rybak’s planned local development plan on Lake Łańskie”. The website says “We don’t want another” Gołębiewski “on the dunes in Pobierowo, or the Spanish coast mutilated by large hotels… Plans to turn this beautiful place into a large hotel complex and residential area must be halted. 12,000 people signed it .
Let’s stay in Rybaki. For example, access roads that are in no way adapted to car traffic, where two thousand people would live in a large hotel, are in need of a thorough renovation. “Probably also in this case, the case should be examined from the point of view of legality. The owner of the land has already applied to the municipality to approve a local zoning plan allowing the construction of a hotel in this area. Among other things, there are doubts about the planned size of the hotel”. – MP Bartosz Kownacki writes to the ministry.
As we read in the letter from the MP: “The developer is talking about a building with a maximum capacity of 700 people, and the current Local Development Plan plan foresees the construction of a larger building. During the settlements for the local development plan, the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection repeatedly refused to accept the principles of the plan. It eventually accepted it, but theoretically imposed strict obligations on the protection of wild animals and their habitats. The question remains whether these obligations are feasible with such a huge amount of investment and who can effectively enforce the conditions set by RDOŚ?
Commitment of the municipal manager
In this case, as in the case of Pobierowo, the involvement of the mayor is puzzling. It entices residents with potential property tax revenues, which would amount to a million zloty a year. Meanwhile, the Stawiguda municipality is already one of the richest Warmian municipalities. Substantial revenues for the budget are ensured by numerous logistics centers and industrial areas located there. The budget for 2022 is exactly PLN 118,912,982.15!
“The concerns of the residents are also expressed by the actions of the municipal authorities, who seem to strongly support the developer’s plans and are taking active measures to promote the implementation of the investment in the local community. The examples of Stobnica and Pobierowo show that one must be particularly careful in such cases. (…) Especially in situations where it turns out afterwards that individual local government activists have a real interest in such controversial investments being carried out without hindrance, as for example in the case of a hotel in Pobierowo ,,They intend to continue their professional activity into positions related to the investment they previously agreed to,” MP Kownacki wrote.
The parliamentarian emphasizes that in this case it is necessary to increase the accountability of civil servants for their decisions, but also to increase cooperation between administration and control bodies.
And just to be clear, it’s not about blocking investment because of the Natura 2000 site or the need to protect the beautiful views at all costs. The question is whether the state has control over what happens at the interface between developers and local government officials. Investments should not be held back because of the principle that you should not cut down any trees. We cannot afford such exaggerated eco-blackmail. However, the situation in which the mayor, who previously made decisions about the construction of the hotel, later becomes director, is, according to some, not only clumsiness, but perhaps even pathology. Maybe they should take care of it
services and other such investments under a protective umbrella. Because when officials and local government officials want to warm up in the glow of developer mammon, the path development aberration begins, which the PiS president rightly spoke of. May this not apply to the examples presented above…
The article reflects the opinion of the author and does not have to be the same as the editorial position.