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National Council wants to restrict associations’ right to complain – News


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Smaller residential buildings should no longer be held back by nature and heritage protection. This is what the National Council wants, to the displeasure of the left-wing parties and the green liberals.

29 nature and heritage protection organizations have the right to file complaints against construction projects. This makes sense for large projects, but not for smaller construction projects, says Philipp Matthias Bregy, President of the Center Group.

He has therefore pushed for a change in the law that restricts the association’s right to complain. “To prevent a large, financially powerful association from interfering in small projects of ordinary citizens who want to build a house once in their life,” as he explained in the special session.

No association complaint under 400 square meters

Bregy originally demanded that association complaints should no longer be possible for construction projects with a floor area of ​​less than 600 square meters in building zones. The responsible environmental commission of the National Council has reduced this area to 400 square meters.

But for the SP, the Greens and the Green Liberals, this also goes too far. The association’s right to complain must remain unrestricted, said Nadine Masshardt from the SP. It is central to the correct implementation of environmental protection and spatial planning law and is therefore an important support of the rule of law.

The right of association to complain is an important control mechanism.

Associations submitted 54 complaints last year. Of these, 26 were approved in whole or in part, according to the leader of the Green Party, Aline Trede. In these cases, the associations would have prevented violations of the law. The right to complain as a group is correspondingly important as a control mechanism.

Beat Flach from the Green Liberals explains that it is mostly neighbors who delay construction projects with querulous complaints. Restrictions would have to be decided on these private individuals. But basically saying that no one is allowed to look at it anymore if it’s a little smaller is the wrong approach. There is at least enough space for an apartment building on 400 square meters.

Special session

Legend:

According to the National Council, complaints should no longer be possible in the future for smaller residential building projects. Much to the displeasure of the left-wing parties and the green liberals in the Grand Chamber. The proposal now goes to the Council of States.

Keystone/Peter Klaunzer

But with these arguments, the left parties and the green liberals remained in the minority. The SVP, FDP and Center, who practically unanimously voted for a restriction on the association’s right to complain, prevailed.

It is a disproportionate interference by associations.

This simply does not make sense in construction zones because it is a “disproportionate interference by associations,” argued Monika Rüegger from the SVP. And Susanne Vincenz-Stauffacher from the FDP added that the relatively small number of association complaints is no reason to leave everything as it is: “The possibility of slowing down a project through objections gives actual negotiating power.”

With 113 votes to 72, the large chamber finally approved the submission of its Commission for the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy. It now goes to the Council of States.

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