Last update:
2022-07-26

Castle residential building in Stobnica, Poland

The castle in Stobnica in the Natura 2000 area is a symbol of insufficient state capacity to protect nature. Using of legal loopholes, the investor avoided assessing the cumulative impact of this scaled-up residential (tourist?) project on the environment



Description:

On July 7, 2018, a post [1] was published on Facebook (1.5 million views) with aerial photos from the construction of an imitation of a medieval castle in Stobnica, almost 50 km north-west of Poznań [2]. A large multi-family residential building is under construction on an artificial island of a large pond on the Kończak river in the Notecka Forest on the far outskirts of a settlement with only 129 inhabitants. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Castle residential building in Stobnica, Poland
Country:Poland
State or province:Greater Poland Voivodeship (Wielkopolska Province)
Location of conflict:Oborniki Commune
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Deforestation
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

According to the investor, the project in Stobnica concerns the construction of a luxurious residential building (castle) on an artificial island with 46 flats of various sizes, which will be permanently inhabited by 97 people, and - temporarily - by 10 members of maintenance staff. The area of the building will be 1.0378 ha (up to 150 m long and 100 m wide). The facility will have 14 floors with an underground garage. The building will be equipped with a huge indoor swimming pool, gym, fitness center, library and theater. On the broad base, a set of various bodies of the building was designed with small windows with a glazing area of no more than 1.5 m2 each and with flat roofs-terraces, partly in the form of green roofs. The highest accent is the tower (almost 48 m). In addition, it is planned to build an outbuilding intended for servicing the castle with a boiler room (2 wood-burning boilers of the GK-500 type: 495.0 kW capacity) and a flue gas chimney (20 m). The collected ash will be disposed of in a landfill. This facility will also have a pumping station to discharge sewage from the castle to the nearby sewage treatment plant (storage tank: 5.0 m3). The investment also includes the creation of a granite surface of small roads and bridges. The main building material of the castle is brick and sandstone, supplied especially from the Sudetes. Given the irregularities in the investment process, the actual parameters of the development are probably greater than in the design documentation.

Project area:2.7987 ha (artificial island with castle and outbuilding)
Level of Investment for the conflictive project100,000,000.00 USD (prosecutor's office findings)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:Unknown
Start of the conflict:07/07/2018
Company names or state enterprises:D.J.T. Sp.z.o.o. (DJT) from Poland - private developer/investor
PTB Nickel Sp.z.o.o. (Nickel) from Poland - private general contractor
Relevant government actors:- Ministerstwo Klimatu i Środowiska (Ministry of Climate and Environment)
- Generalna Dyrekcja Ochrony Środowiska (General Directorate for Environmental Protection)
- Centralne Biuro Antykorupcyjne (Central Anticorruption Bureau)
- Wielkopolski Urząd Wojewódzki w Poznaniu (Greater Poland Voivodeship Office in Poznań)
- Regionalna Dyrekcja Ochrony Środowiska w Poznaniu (Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Poznań)
- Starostwo Powiatowe w Obornikach (Office County in Oborniki)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- WWF Polska (WWF Poland)
https://www.wwf.pl/
- Greenpeace Polska (Greenpeace Poland); https://www.greenpeace.org/poland/
- Koalicja Ratujmy Rzeki (Save the Rivers Coalition)
http://www.ratujmyrzeki.pl/
- Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot (Workshop for All Beings)
https://pracownia.org.pl/
- Obóz dla Puszczy (the Camp for the Forest): social movement gainst devastation of the Białowieża Forest
- Polskie Towarzystwo Ochrony Przyrody „Salamandra” (Polish Society for Nature Conservation “Salamandra”)
http://www.salamandra.org.pl/
- Fundacja Dzika Polska (Wild Poland Foundation)
https://dzikapolska.org/
- Partia Zieloni (The Greens)
https://partiazieloni.pl/
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution, Noise pollution, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Proposal and development of alternatives:The president of the Wild Poland Foundation claims that the castle should be demolished if there were any irregularities in its construction.
According to the Greens, the reform of the national nature protection system should include, i.a.:
- autonomising of Regional Directorates for Environmental Protection from political influences,
- increasing the competences and financial resources of the State and Provincial Inspectorates for Environmental Protection,
- creating an independent and authoritative system of EIAs,
- introducing solutions and practices that ensure real, not illusory, public consultations of planned investments
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The construction of the castle is still ongoing.
The state's approach to nature conservation hasn't changed, and the institutions haven't been reformed.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

[4] Report on the control in a simplified mode, carried out on the basis of the Act of 15 July 2011 on control in government administration (Journal of Laws No. 185, item 1092)

In 8/23/2018, the General Directorate for Environmental Protection (Poland) concluded that the position of the Regional DIrectiorate for Environmental Protection in Poznań related to the lack significant negative impact of the project on the area Natura 2000 'Puszcza Notecka' is generally correct, despite the procedural deficiencies.
[click to view]

[10] Raport o oddziaływaniu przedsięwzięcia polegającego wybudowaniu budynków gospodarczego i mieszkalnego wraz z zapleczem na terenie działki 109/2 (zasadnicza część inwestycji - zabudowa mieszkaniowa) i 132/2 w miejscowości Stobnica, gmina Oborniki na obszarze Natura Puszcza Notecka PLB300015 (Report on the impact of the project consisting in the construction of outbuilding and residential building with facilities on the plot 109/2 (the main part of the investment - residential development) and 132/2 in Stobnica, Oborniki commune in the Natura Puszcza Notecka area PLB300015)
[click to view]

[15] Uchwała Nr XIV/143/11 Rady Miejskiej w Obornikach z dnia 24 października 2011 r. w sprawie miejscowego planu zagospodarowania przestrzennego na terenie działek o numerach ewidencyjnych 109/1, 109/2, 123/2, 195, 197, 198, 199 202, 203, 205, 206, 53 położonych w miejscowości Stobnica, gmina Oborniki (Resolution No. XIV / 143/11 of the City Council in Oborniki of October 24, 2011 on the Local Plan of Spatial Development for plots with registration numbers 109/1, 109/2, 123/2, 195, 197, 198, 199, 202, 203, 205, 206, 53 located in Stobnica, Oborniki commune).

The findings of this Local Plan of Spatial Development, along with other regulations, shape the manner of exercising the property ownership right in the area where the castle project is under construction.
[click to view]

[16] Studium uwarunkowań i kierunków zagospodarowania przestrzennego Gminy Oborniki (Study of the conditions and directions of spatial development in the Oborniki commune).
[click to view]

[17] Oświadczenie Generalnej Dyrekcji Ochrony Środowiska ws. działań podjętych przez RDOŚ w Poznaniu i GDOŚ dot. Inwestycji znanej jako „zamek w Stobnicy” (Statement of the General Directorate for Environmental Protection on actions taken by RDOŚ in Poznań and GDOŚ regarding the investment known as "the castle in Stobnica")
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[13] Kusiak W. (2007). Program gospodarczo-ochronny dla Leśnego Kompleksu Promocyjnego Puszcza Notecka (Economic and protection program for the Promotional Forest Complex of Notecka Forest)
[click to view]

[3] Jurszo R. (2018, July 12). OKO.Press. Obóz dla Puszczy do premiera: Chętnie pomożemy zablokować budowę zamku, skoro władza nie dała rady (Camp for the Forest to the Prime Minister: We will be happy to help block the construction of the castle, since the authorities failed)
[click to view]

[5] Koalicja Ratujmy Rzeki (Save the Rivers Coalition). (2018, July 12). Zamek w Stobnicy - Lokalna afera odwracająca uwagę od systemowego problemu. Oświadczenie KRR (Castle in Stobnica - A local scandal that distracts attention from the systemic problem. KRR statement)
[click to view]

[6] Partia Zieloni (The Greens). (2018, July 13). Stop Stobnicy! Stop nagonce na ekologów (Stop Stobnica! Stop the campaign against environmentalists)
[click to view]

[7] WWF Polska (WWF Poland). (2018, July 12). Czy zamek w Puszczy Noteckiej to symbol niewydolności państwa w kontroli inwestycji? (Is the castle in the Noteć Forest a symbol of state failure in investment control?)
[click to view]

[8] Wp.pl (2081, July 10). Jak sobie załatwili zamek w Puszczy Noteckiej. Budowę poparli zagorzali ekolodzy (How they got a castle in the Noteć Forest. The construction was supported by staunch environmentalists)
[click to view]

[9] Money.pl (2081, July 10). Życie wokół zamku w Puszczy Noteckiej. "Chcemy, żeby wybudowali nam jeszcze rynek" (Life around the castle in the Noteć Forest. "We want them to build a market for us")
[click to view]

[11] Jurszo R. (2018, July 13). OKO.press. Zamek w Stobnicy: za raport zapłacono sianem dla koni. I dopisano do niego badaczy bez ich wiedzy (Castle in Stobnica: the report was paid with hay for horses. And researchers were added to it without their knowledge)
[click to view]

[12] Jurszo R. (2018, July 18). OKO.press. W Stobnicy miał powstać Wilczy Park. Pomysł zniszczyła budowa „zamku" (Wilczy Park was to be built in Stobnica. The idea was destroyed by the construction of the "castle")
[click to view]

[18] TVP3.Wielkopolska (2019, February 1). Inwestor w Stobnicy nielegalnie utworzył nasyp na Kończaku (An investor in Stobnica has illegally created an embankment at Kończak)
[click to view]

[19] TVN24.pl (2020, December 31). Sześć osób oskarżonych w sprawie zamku w Stobnicy (Six people accused in the case of the castle in Stobnica)
[click to view]

[20] Cieśla Ł. (2021, February 25). Zamek w Stobnicy powstał za pieniądze z cypryjskich spółek? CBA napisało notatkę o praniu brudnych pieniędzy. Prokuratura wszczęła śledztwo (The castle in Stobnica was built with money from Cypriot companies? The CBA wrote a note on money laundering. The prosecutor's office opened an investigation)
[click to view]

[21] Kiepel S., Pogrzebny R. (2022, February 22). Zamek w Stobnicy. Znamy uzasadnienie sądu, który uchylił unieważnienie pozwolenia na budowę (Castle in Stobnica. We know the justification of the court that revoked the invalidation of the building permit). Bankier.pl.
[click to view]

[22] Madejski M. (2022, May15). Zamek w Stobnicy. Prawne zamieszanie trwa, a na budowie praca wre (Castle in Stobnica. The legal turmoil continues and the construction site is in full swing). Business Insider website.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[1] 'Zwiadowca Historii' Facebook account. (2018, July 7).
[click to view]

[2] 'Flying Circle PL' YouTube account. (2020, October 7). Zamek w Stobnicy - a jednak budują. 3.10.2020 (The castle in Stobnica - and yet they are building. 3/10/2020)
[click to view]

[14] 'ŻabX' Facebook account. (2018, July 17).
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Maciej Kałaska, [email protected] Faculty of Geography and Regional Studies, University of Warsaw
Last update26/07/2022
Conflict ID:5519
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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