The city faces millions in damages due to the actions of Stanivuković’s administration

BANJALUKA – The Spatial Planning Department of the City of Banjaluka issued a building permit to “Lukić-invest”, a company based in Banjaluka, for the construction of a residential and commercial building on Krajiških brigada Street in the Mjesec settlement of Banja Luka. This permit was issued despite contradicting the Regulatory Plan for the area. As construction neared completion and all apartments were sold, the city’s construction inspection subsequently sealed the building and halted further construction. This action could potentially expose the city to a million lawsuit, reveals CAPITAL.

This situation would not have come to light if it weren’t for the protests from neighbors and owners of adjacent plots. Based on their years of complaints, the city’s construction inspection cordoned off the construction site on May 23 of this year and halted further work.

The entire issue, which has now resulted in bureaucratic delays and a construction halt, began on March 8, 2019, when “Lukić-invest” submitted a request for issuance of location conditions.

At that time, the regulatory plan that permitted the construction of a six-storey residential and commercial building on Krajiških brigade Street was still in effect.

The new regulatory plan entered into force in March 2019

Just fifteen days later, on March 24, a new regulatory plan came into effect. According to this new plan, the specified address was designated for a three-story building with smaller dimensions than allowed under the previous regulatory plan.

Following their request on March 8, “Lukić-invest” received location conditions through a decision of September 16, 2019. Subsequently, based on these location conditions, the company applied for a building permit in September of the following year. The Spatial Planning Department responded affirmatively and issued the building permit on January 17, 2022.

Two months after obtaining the construction permit, construction began, and to date, a six-story building has been erected in accordance with the previous regulatory plan, which ceased to be valid on March 24, 2019.

When construction commenced, owners of neighboring plots appealed to the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction, and Ecology against the decision of the City of Banjaluka’s Spatial Planning Department to issue a building permit dated January 17, 2022. Their appeal was rejected, prompting them to file a lawsuit.

On November 28, 2022, the district court in Banja Luka upheld their claims and accepted the appeal. In June of the previous year, the relevant ministry completely revoked the construction permit.

City inspector (un) consciously prolonged the process

Instead of acting promptly following the ministry’s decision and immediately halting construction, city construction inspector Marinko Radaković was conducting an inspection two months later on August 28, discovering that “Lukić-invest” was still actively carrying out construction work.

It was only on October 4, 2023, that the inspector issued a decision to halt the ongoing construction, specifying that any appeals would not delay the enforcement of the decision. The possibility that the delay was deliberate is suggested by the fact that he came back to check enforcement that decision only on May 23 of this year, when construction activities were finally halted and the construction site was cordoned off.


It is important to note that the city inspector halted the construction only after Dragan Mijović, the chief RS inspector of urban planning and construction, issued a letter to the city administration threatening to revoke the acting city inspector’s approval due to the delayed and unprofessional execution of the project.

Ranko Lukić, the owner of “Lukić-invest”, informed CAPITAL that he possesses valid location conditions. However, he remains uncertain about his next steps following the work stoppage and is contemplating legal action against the city, asserting his reputation as a diligent builder.

“If I cannot proceed further, I will consult with lawyers to determine our next steps. We have filed a complaint with the ministry regarding the city inspection’s decision to halt the works. I am unsure when the ministry will respond, but I aim to avoid conflict and will await the decisions,” said Lukić.

He considers the ruling of the District Court in Banja Luka ridiculous because valid location conditions were not considered and taken into account.

“Lawyers interpret and laugh at that ruling, but I must respect it. Regarding the buyers of apartments in that location, we are prepared to reimburse everyone’s down payments and expenses. This way, everyone will be satisfied and protected”, said Lukić.

He mentions that his company has several alternative locations available. He emphasizes that they are currently not selling apartments in the “disputed” location “because they want to avoid entering into contracts and potentially facing unpleasant situations”.

A possible million lawsuit against the city

According to lawyers’ interpretations, the real intrigue in the entire story lies in the decision of the Spatial Planning Department on April 29 this year, which rejected the request from “Lukić-invest” for a construction permit for the building on Krajiških brigada Street.

“The contested location conditions issued on September 16, 2019, were not aligned with the Decision on amending a portion of the Regulatory Plan “Paprikovac-Petrićevac” from 2019, which is a valid document. This discrepancy constitutes a violation of the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction and directly impacts the issuance of a construction permit”, reads the decision signed by the head of the Spatial planning department, Vuk Višekruna.


According to legal experts, there are several solutions to address this unusual situation.

“One potential resolution, though unlikely, is that the relevant ministry may accept the appeal by “Lukić-invest” against the decision made by Vuk Višekruna on April 29 of this year, which rejected the company’s request for a construction permit. Another option, also improbable but not entirely impossible, is the demolition of the illegal building. However, the most probable course of action is for “Lukić-invest” to pursue a lawsuit against the city, seeking compensation for damages and lost profits. These losses are substantial, amounting to millions due to illegally issued construction permit based on which that company, as a conscientious builder, had invested in a residential and commercial building in the Banja Luka neighborhood of Mjesec”, explains for CAPITAL a lawyer experienced in the property and legal relations and obligations.

Closeness of Ranko Lukić and city officials

To strengthen the argument that ultimately the City of Banja Luka—and by extension its citizens—might bear the cost of damages due to the ignorance of city officials, one must consider the well-known closeness of Ranko Lukić, the owner of “Lukić-invest”, to the city’s leadership.

CAPITAL previously reported that the Commission for the sale of immovable property, headed by city manager Bojan Kresojević, permitted the company “Lupaco”, also owned by Lukić, to participate in an auction and purchase city land in the Ramići Business Zone for BAM 215.000. This decision resulted in damages to the Banja Luka budget of at least half a million marks.

Srđan Jaćimović, the deputy director of the company “Jaćimović”, subsequently clarified that their company was prepared to allocate significantly more than the estimated value of BAM 420.000 for the land involved in the controversial auction.

“We were prepared to offer between 600.000 to 700.000 marks for that land, but we were prevented from participating in the auction. Subsequently, the auction was conducted under mysterious circumstances, with practical involvement from only one company, “Lupaco”, which ultimately won the auction at a price significantly lower than what we were willing to pay”, said Jaćimović then.


CAPITAL: Andrijana Pisarević

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