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Warsaw. Five-story blocks of flats will be built on the edge of the historic Mausoleum of Soviet Soldiers Cemetery

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The residential investment is planned on the outskirts of the historic Cemetery, Mausoleum of Soviet Soldiers. Activists directly call her a “path developer” and alarm that the blocks will violate the spatial order of this place. The necropolis and the surrounding park were designed by the outstanding architect Bohdan Lachert. The district office, which issued the positive decision on the development conditions, claims that the procedure was carried out in accordance with the law.

The controversial investment was revealed by activists from the City Jest Our association. “Work is underway on a new Study for Warsaw and drafts of subsequent local spatial development plans are being processed, and meanwhile … in Mokotów, the office takes advantage of the confusion and issues a WZ-k for a colossus, which is to be erected in the place of a historic building, in a historic park and right next to the ROD Rakowiec” – activists from MJN alerted.

According to the association, on June 14, 2023, the Mokotów office issued a decision allowing the construction of a five-story residential building with two underground floors and over a hundred parking spaces on the outskirts of the Mausoleum of Soviet Soldiers Cemetery. From the side of General Błaszczyka Street, three blocks with a maximum height of 17.9 meters and a total length of 116 meters are to be built. Today, on the plot at Żwirki i Wigury 24, there is a small detached house.

“This investment may drastically violate the spatial order, the principles of protecting cultural heritage and the environment. Another path-developer in full glory, at the expense of the city and residents,” activists from MJN write in social media.

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The office gave the green light

We asked the office of the Mokotów district for clarification. As the spokesperson of the office, Damian Kret, said in response, the application for a decision on the development conditions was received on January 27, 2020.

“During the proceedings on May 6, 2020, the administrative proceedings were suspended ex officio for a period of nine months, due to the contradictions of the investment with the provisions of the draft local development plan prepared at that time (which has not been adopted to this day)” – explained Kret. And he emphasized that the process related to issuing the decision lasted over three years “based on the applicable law in this regard.”

“In the course of agreeing on the draft decision, the Office received a decision of February 6, 2023 from the Mazowieckie Voivodship Conservator of Monuments (MWKZ), which decided not to agree on the decision on the development conditions for the investment in question” – indicated the spokesman of the Mokotów office.

A housing investment will be built on the outskirts of the Mausoleum of Soviet Soldiers CemeteryGoogle Maps

The investor appealed against the conservator’s decision to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The ministry agreed with him and referred the case for reconsideration by the MWKZ. “In the reconsideration, the Mazovian Voivodship Conservator of Monuments, by decision of May 26, 2023, discontinued the administrative procedure in its entirety regarding the approval of the decision on development conditions” – informed Kret.

He also cited a quote from the redemption: “(…) the investment in question is located outside the area under conservation protection, so the conservator of monuments has no legal basis to agree on the draft decision in question, and the proceedings in the above case are pointless.”

“After considering the investor’s application, on June 14, 2023, a decision was issued (…) setting out detailed rules for land development and its development for the investment consisting in the construction of a multi-family residential building with services on the ground floor and a two-story underground garage, in place of an existing single-family residential building standing on the plot (…) at 24 Żwirki i Wigury Street in Warsaw” – confirmed the activists’ reports Damian Kret.

“The procedure was carried out in accordance with the regulations”

According to the Warsaw Conservator of Monuments, Michał Krasucki, quoted by “Gazeta Stołeczna”, the decision of the provincial conservator is burdened with a legal defect.

– In the case of a decision on development conditions issued in an area included in the municipal register of monuments, the proceedings cannot be discontinued. You can agree on a decision, or not agree, and the voivodeship conservator of monuments discontinued them, i.e. applied the wrong procedure. Therefore, as the Office of the Capital Conservator of Monuments, in consultation with the competent offices and city authorities, we apply to the Minister of Culture to annul this decision – Krasucki told Stołeczna.

At the MWKZ office, we asked if there was a mistake when issuing the decision to discontinue. Andrzej Mizera, the spokesman for the provincial conservator, denied this. “The said procedure was carried out in accordance with the regulations and the collected case files. MWKZ fully maintains its position. We do not intend to participate in discussions that have the hallmarks of a pre-election campaign,” Mizera replied.

In turn, we ask the Ministry of Culture, what arguments, in the opinion of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, support the construction of a residential investment in the historic cemetery and park? Up to the publication of the article, we have not received a response.

“Gazeta Stołeczna” has established that Igor Łukasik, a former volleyball player, currently the president of IŁ Capital – a company operating on the real estate market, applied for a decision on the development conditions.

Over 800 graves

According to the website of the capital city hall, the Park Mausoleum – Cemetery of Soviet Soldiers was established in 1949-1950. Its general assumption was designed by Bohdan Lachert, while the author of the greenery concept was Władysław Niemirski. There are 294 individual and 540 collective graves in the cemetery.

tvnwarszawa.pl, “Gazeta Stołeczna”

Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter/tvnwarszawa.pl

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