Under the provisions of the Construction Law Act, a road with access points is one of linear objects. The term road has also been defined in the Public Roads Act. According to the definition of that piece of legislation, a road is an object with road engineering structures, equipment and installations that makes a technical and usable whole intended for road traffic, located within a right-of-way. As explained by the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Wrocław in the judgment of 6 February 2018, file reference II SA/Wr 688/17, in the classification of an unauthorized construction under an appropriate category of construction works, apart from fulfilment of the criteria laid down in the legislation, another significant factor should be its function as intended by the investor.
The cited decision was delivered in a dispute concerning which works on a property should be considered construction of a road and which amount to mere land hardening. In the discussed case, the investor “trenched” a strip of land and placed on that strip a few layers of different construction materials. The local Building Inspector found that in the absence of a building permit for a road, the investor carried out unauthorized construction. On the other hand, the investor claimed to have only hardened the land and that the resulting “road” does not have the infrastructure required for objects of such type. The Court found in favour of the Inspector and stressed that in the judicial practice of administrative courts it is indicated that a road on an investor’s private lot does not need to have the infrastructure forming a part of the definition of public road. At the same time, according to the opinion expressed by the Supreme Administrative Court in the judgment of 28 November 2014, file reference II OSK 1147/13, mere hardening of land other than a building plot as a result of which no construction objects are created is not subject to the provisions of construction law. However, performance of works such as “trenching” and laying construction materials exceeded the framework of hardening and resulted in creation of a road – and for this type of work a building permit is necessary.