Does logging affect warehouses?

The Polish parliament is finalising another amendment to the law on logging. JLL’s Agata Zając discusses the impact of the previous, much more lenient regulations on the trade in land designated for warehouse development.

The freedom in deciding what trees on one’s property should be felled lasted several months. The provisions allowing the felling of trees on private properties have not significantly affected the market for land designated for the construction of warehouses. As emphasised by Agata Zając, Associate Director at JLL’s Industrial Department, the amendment of the section on logging in the law on nature conservation is meant to help protect ownership, rather than create new investment land. The expert interviewed by Eurobuild says that while well-prepared plots are always favoured by investors, the presence or absence of trees is not a major consideration when purchasing investment land. However, the industry might still be affected by the provisions related to bird breeding seasons.

“An investor must take into account the period of protection, which is from March to October. The construction site is constantly monitored by the construction supervision office, not to mention the neighbours and environmental organisations. Therefore, investors cannot simply ignore the regulations. The disclosure of non-compliance with environmental regulations could lead to penalties and suspension of the development, as well as entail a PR disaster–a serious developer cannot afford to bear such consequences,” says Agata Zając, Associate Director at JLL’s Industrial Department.

The amendments introduced by the Polish Senate require tree trunks to be measured at the height of 5 cm. There will be three thresholds, depending on the species of the felled tree: 80 cm, 65 cm and 50 cm. If the circumference of the tree trunk is lower than the threshold for the given species, the land owner will not have to apply for a permit to fell it.

Agata Zając points out that the first significant amendment of the law relating to the measurement of tree trunks in felling entered into force in the second half of 2015, but went rather unnoticed. “The changes mostly concerned the rules for charging fees for felling in cases when it is meant to prepare the land for its intended use (that is the use specified in the local master plan). Thus, it became less expensive to remove trees on land that has been designated for investments,” says JLL’s expert.

Following the amendments proposed by the Senate, it will no longer be possible to fell all trees on one’s plot. Plot owners will be required to indicate the trees that they intend to fell in special forms. These plans will be reviewed by officials, who will be able to veto them, effectively halting the felling.

Agata Zając