At the end of April this year, specifically on April 21st 2023, Law No 102/2023 (”Law No 102/2023”) was published in the Official Gazette No 322 of April 18th 2023 and entered into force. By Law No 102/2023, the legislator amends certain provisions of Law No 50/1991 on the authorization of the execution of construction works (”Law No 50/1991”), Law No 350/2001 on territorial planning and urbanism (”Law No 350/2001”) and Law No 554/2004 on administrative disputes (”Law No 554/2004”).
With this material, we intend to briefly deal with the amendments introduced by Law No 102/2023.
Thus, with regard to Law No 50/1991, the legislator has made a number of additions to Article 7, provisions governing the measures to be taken to ensure the publicity of the building permit.
Thus, from the date of entry into force of Law No 102/2023, the information regarding the necessary conditions to be met by the beneficiaries, conditions contained in the building permit, shall be made public within a maximum of 30 days from the date of issue of the permit and must include mandatory elements such as, but not limited to, the percentage of land occupation – P.O.T. and the land use coefficient – C.U.T., building setbacks from property lines or height regime, the number of underground and above-ground levels for each building, and the building heights, cornice and maximum for each building.
When the issuing authority fulfils its obligation to publish on its website or to display at its headquarters the aforementioned information, it shall also record and publish the date of completion of the publicity operations regarding the content of the building permit.
Simultaneously, the legislator has established the obligation for the beneficiary of the building permit to (i) to note in the land book of the property, and (ii) in a widely circulated newspaper, the number of the building permit, the date of its issuance and the title/description of the project, and (iii) to place at the construction site, in a visible location, the identification panel of the investment. The cost of all these operations will be borne entirely by the beneficiary.
Without prejudice to which of the following occurs last, the date of the last publicity operation, carried out either by the issuing authority or by the beneficiary of the building permit, shall be considered the date on which the content of the permit is deemed to have been communicated to the social bodies concerned. Furthermore, interested social bodies and any interested third party may request information extracted from the content of the building permit or any public documents for study at the issuing public authority’s premises.
Another amendment to Law No 50/1991 is the introduction of Article 12, para. (3), which regulates special deadlines within which the special bodies concerned may file an action for cancellation of the building permit or an application for main or accessory intervention in such disputes.
According to the above-mentioned article of the law, in the event of disputes regarding building permits, the law distinguishes between the situation where a prior complaint is still mandatory, in which case the time limit for submitting the complaint is 30 days and starts from the date of the last publicity operation carried out, either by the issuing authority or by the beneficiary of the building permit. The time limit for submitting applications for cancellation, suspension, accessory or principal intervention is 60 days and is calculated from the date of the response to the prior complaint or from the expiry date of the legal deadline for resolving the complaint, regardless of which of these dates occurs first.
If the prior complaint is no longer mandatory, the deadline for lodging applications for cancellation, suspension, accessory or principal intervention shall be 60 days and starts from the date of the last publicity operation carried out either by the issuing authority or by the beneficiary of the construction permit.
In urban planning matters, the new para. (4) of Article 64 of Law No 350/2001 provides for a special limitation period of 1 year within which interested social bodies may appeal against the decisions approving land-use and urban planning documentation. This period runs from the date of approval of these documents and derogates from the general period of 5 years provided for in Article 64(3) of the same law.
In the following, we will briefly present the amendments to Law 554/2004.
A first amendment concerns the introduction of point d1) in Article 11(1) of Law 554/2004, according to which, if the prior complaint is no longer mandatory, any interested person may request the annulment of an individual administrative act, of an administrative contract, the recognition of the claimed right and the reparation of the damage caused within 6 months from the date on which they became aware of the content of the act.
Additionally, Law No 102/2023 also amends Article 14 of Law No 554/2004, namely paragraph (1) of Article 14. On the one hand, the injured party may request the competent court to order the suspension of the execution of the unilateral administrative act until the decision of the court of first instance, within a maximum of 30 days after becoming aware of the content of the act which can no longer be revoked. The legislative novelty is the introduction of this 30-day period, which did not exist in the previous wording of the article. On the other hand, the old version of the second sentence of paragraph (1) of Article 14 did not stipulate when the 60-day period for bringing an action for annulment began to run. Thanks to the entry into force of Law No 102/2023, this aspect has been clarified, and the action for annulment of the administrative act must be brought within 60 days of the application for suspension. If this deadline is not respected and the substance of the suspension action is not resolved, the court will dismiss the suspension application as devoid of interest.
The last amendment referred to in this material is the one made to Article 15 (1) of Law No 554/2004, which, in its current form, provides that the application for suspension may be made either together with the main action or in a separate action, within a maximum of 60 days from the introduction of the main action, unlike the old wording of Article 15 (1) of Law No 554/2004, which provided that the application for suspension could be made until the resolution of the main action.
We appreciate that the amendments made to Law No 50/1991, Law No 350/2001 and Law No 554/2004 by Law No 102/2023 are welcome, as they are intended to resolve and prevent various problems already existing in practice prior to the entry into force of Law No 102/2023, without generating new controversies.