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12 August 2020
The cabinet approved the draft for an investment acceleration law presented by Federal Minister Scheuer. It is based on a resolution of the coalition committee. The BMVI is thus strengthening its measures for faster planning and construction in Germany.
Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer:
We want to build faster - for a strong economy and climate-friendly mobility. On the railways, we want to make electrification and digitalization easier, make platforms barrier-free or erect noise protection walls. We are speeding up approvals, shortening court proceedings, ensuring faster building laws and streamlining procedures. This means we take a look at everything that has been stuck up to now.
Faster construction by rail
In future, certain construction measures on the railways will no longer require approval through a planning approval procedure. These include:
o the electrification of railroad lines,
o the equipment with digital signal and security technology,
o the barrier-free conversion, raising or extension of platforms,
o the erection of noise barriers for noise remediation.
Environmental tests in these cases are facilitated, for example by a preliminary test, which in some cases makes subsequent tests unnecessary.
Shorter administrative court proceedings
In the future, higher administrative courts or administrative courts of first instance will have jurisdiction, e.g. for state roads, port projects or wind turbines.
This saves one instance and shortens the time of the proceedings.
In order to counteract staff shortages at the courts, judges are to be deployed more flexibly and competences are to be bundled in courts.
Immediate enforcement of building law
For nationally important infrastructure projects - such as projects from the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan or the expansion of mobile communications - immediate execution is ordered by law.
This means: after approval by the responsible authorities, construction can begin immediately. The suspensive effect of objections or actions for rescission does not apply in these cases. The path of interim legal protection in summary proceedings is retained.
Faster examination of the spatial compatibility
Infrastructure projects in Germany are generally approved in a two-stage process:
1. regional planning procedure: to assess the (supra)regional impact of a project.
2. planning approval procedure: for the granting of the building permit.
In order to avoid duplication of work, a regional planning procedure can be dispensed with in future if no corresponding conflicts are expected. In addition, the procedure will be more digitalized - e.g. through online publications.
In this legislative period, several new regulations to accelerate planning have already come into force. The Bundestag can now approve important environmentally friendly rail and waterway projects by law, which increases acceptance among citizens. Procedures for replacement new buildings have been streamlined - i.e. when bridges are replaced, for example, a new approval procedure is no longer required. In addition, local authorities have been relieved of the burden of removing level crossings so that they can be built more quickly.