German construction authorities should not be a bottleneck, in the words of ZDB’s president

“The construction industry remains one of the sectors that is providing particular support to the economy during the Coronavirus crisis. Many construction sites can still be worked on today. However, the limited working capacity in the public administration should not hinder construction activity”, explained Reinhard Quast, President of the Zentralverband Deutsches Baugewerbe (ZDB), in the debate on the gradual relaxation of crown protection measures in Germany.

In the German towns and municipalities, the implementation of construction measures is increasingly failing due to a lack of personnel capacities in the approval authorities. Among other things, tenders are postponed and building permits are no longer issued. As Quast, President of ZDB, explained: “In the interest of the economy as a whole, individual sectors of the economy, such as the construction industry, must continue to operate. It is counterproductive for this if no scaffolding is allowed to be erected on the construction site, if the acceptance of construction work is not carried out on the building site or if building permits are generally not issued”.

The president of the industry’s umbrella organization of Germany therefore demands that activities in the building authorities be stepped up again. “Where necessary, existing processes in the building authorities must be adapted to the current situation, for example in construction planning. To this end, it must be examined whether decisions on development plans and other questions of building law can be made without a meeting of the local council”, Quast appealed to the public administration of Germany.

He also calls for the course to be set for the period after the Coronavirus crisis: “In order to stimulate construction activity, we should move from a permit requirement to a notification requirement. If the competent authority does not object within a certain period, the company can continue the work. This could speed up many processes considerably”.

“In compliance with the necessary work safety and hygiene regulations, work in the building authorities must be intensified again, not least so that the public authorities can meet their payment obligations. It is not acceptable that operational construction companies go into short-time work because no decisions are made in the municipalities to release funds or to plan construction work”, Quast concluded.

Access to the ZDB article, in the following link.