New tourist developments stopped in Hungary

On behalf of a local NGO, J&E Hungary initiated two administrative lawsuits against the building permits for a condominium complex and a port building planned for the beach of Club Aliga at Lake Balaton.

Both the construction of five panoramic residential buildings, each with 21 apartments, totalling 105 units, with 4 storeys and attic space and of the port building, was approved as investments of major importance for the national economy. Due to this high-priority status, both cases went through special procedural rules.

The Pécs Regional Court annulled both decisions in separate litigations and ordered the authority to carry out new procedures. The judgements are based on procedural reasoning. The competent administrative body has misassigned both building permission procedures as investments of major importance for the national economy and violated the participatory rights of the local NGO. The court pointed out that construction and environmental issues are intertwined and inseparable, therefore the restriction of participatory rights to environmental issues was unlawful. The claimant environmental NGO argued that the competent authorities breached EIA rules as well because the developers divided the project into parts in order to avoid the screening procedures, but the court could not consider substantive arguments due to the procedural unlawfulness of the administrative procedures.