Government of Serbia Adopts Draft Amendments to Planning and Construction Act

Noteworthy aspects from the Draft Amendments to Planning and Construction Act

On 4th of May 2023, The Government of the Republic of Serbia convened to discuss and adopt the Proposal of Amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction. These amendments are set to bring about significant changes within the construction sector, aiming to streamline the process of obtaining building permits, enhance energy efficiency in buildings, mitigate environmental impact, and promote sustainable practices.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the proposed legislation is the elimination of the conversion of the right to use construction land into the right of ownership with compensation for specific groups of individuals. While the current regulations have fallen short of achieving the desired outcomes in land transformation, the introduction of a new legal solution was deemed necessary. Under the new provisions, the payment of compensation for land conversion will be abolished, except for specific categories of individuals who will be determined by special regulations. This group includes sports associations and clubs, housing and agricultural cooperatives, as well as individuals covered by Annex G of the succession agreement.

Another key innovation lies in the recognition and definition of the concept of “green construction” and other components of the green agenda. The Draft Law mandates that energy efficiency, sustainable materials and technologies, waste management, water and air protection, and related issues must be taken into consideration during the planning and construction phases of buildings.

Additionally, the Draft Law introduces the term “E-space,” referring to an information system for spatial planning and construction. The implementation of this system is expected to facilitate the issuance of building permits and other necessary authorizations, streamlining bureaucratic procedures.

The proposed legislation also entails the establishment of the Agency for Spatial Planning and Urbanism of the Republic of Serbia, which will assume certain responsibilities that were previously under the jurisdiction of state authorities. All planning documents adopted in accordance with the new law will be recorded in the Central Register of Planning Documents, overseen by the Agency.

Furthermore, the Draft Law imposes an obligation on local self-government units to provide information on “brownfield” locations within their respective territories. These locations, characterized by long periods of disuse but possessing potential for urban renewal, encompass industrial and commercial facilities. Within six months, the Agency is tasked with compiling a data register of these brownfield sites and making it accessible to the public.

With the recent adoption of the Draft Amendments to the Planning and Construction Act by the Government of the Republic of Serbia, it is expected that the subsequent enactment of the amendments will have a far-reaching impact. The objectives of these amendments include simplifying the process of obtaining building permits, integrating new facets of the green agenda, eliminating the conversion of construction costs for specific public categories, establishing specific legislation for linear infrastructure facilities, integrating the Agency for Spatial Planning and Urban Planning of the Republic of Serbia, expanding entities authorized to provide location information, increasing the involvement of local authorities in planning and spatial development.

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