A new Law on supplementing and amending of (i) Law no. 350/2001 on spatial planning and urbanism and (ii) Law no. 50/1991 on the authorization of the execution of construction works has been adopted by the Romanian Parliament on 11 May 2023 (law draft PL-x nr. 110/2023). To enter into force, the law is yet to be promulgated by the President and subsequently published in the Official Gazette.
There are a few key points to be considered:
- No urbanism documentation such as a zonal urban plan (PUZ) is necessary for the permitting of renewable energy projects, irrespective if they are located inside the built-up (Ro: intravilan) or outside the built-up (Ro: extravilan) area of a locality. Previously, the exception of not requiring urbanism documentation was provided only for renewable energy projects located outside the built-up area.
- In case several investment objectives can be developed on a larger plot of land, the law provides that an investor can obtain separate building permits for each of the objectives based on only one urbanism certificate. This provision seems to apply accordingly also in case of renewable energy projects developed in the outside built-up area of a locality, within the 50 hectares limit, as provided by Land Law 18/1991.
- The lack of a Territorial Land Use Plan or of a General Urban Plan in a locality does no longer block the construction works if a PUZ is approved. In the absence of the Territorial Land Use Plan county or of the approved General Urban Plan, on the related territories investments can be made in constructions, technical-building works, as well as any other urban investments only on the basis of a zonal urban plan approved according to the law and in compliance with the General Regulation of Urban Planning, with the exceptions provided for by the law as well as by other acts regulations in force. Before this change, it was debatable if a PUZ could be adopted if the General Urban Plan was no longer valid.
These provisions are aimed at further simplifying the procedure for obtaining a building permit for investments in the renewable energy field. Considering also the previous legislative changes made as of July 2022, Romania is rapidly setting up an accessible and favorable legal framework for a straightforward permitting process of renewable energy capacities in line with its ambitious targets to significantly increase the renewable energy production by 2030.
By Florin Tineghe, Counsel, DLA Piper