Territorial planning documents and construction permits: changes from 1 January 2017

22.11.2016

Legal Update No. 586

Goltsblat BLP advises that a number of provisions of Federal Law No. 373-FZ1, dated 3 July 2016 (the "Law"), come into effect on 1 January 2017. These amend the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation and some other Russian legislative acts, while invalidating selected regulatory provisions. The amendments are designed to improve the regulatory framework for drafting, negotiating and approving territorial planning documents and to ensure comprehensive and sustainable development of territories.

In addition to the newly-introduced concepts of comprehensive territorial development (on the initiative of (i) real estate owners and (ii) local governments) covered in our legal update No. 582, other significant amendments made by the Law relate to territorial planning documents (TPD) and construction permits:

1) Construction of properties on the territory of several public entities or by one public entity on that of another public entity is now regulated. The general rule is that decisions concerning TPD drafting and approval are made by the authorities of the higher level public entity (sec. 2, 3.1 and 4, art. 45 of the Town-Planning Code).

2) A procedure is prescribed for amending TPD (sec. 21, art. 45 of the Town-Planning Code) and TPD regulatory requirements are set out more clearly (sec. 10, art. 45 and sec. 13.1, art. 46 of the Town-Planning Code).

3) A construction permit now confirms not only that the design documentation complies with the requirements of the land plot development plan or the urban planning and development regulations but also that building any capital facility on this land plot is consistent with its permitted use and the limitations set by Russian land and other laws (sec. 1, art. 51 of the Town-Planning Code).

4) Data in a land plot development plan are given "benchmark" status. In particular, capital construction or reconstruction requirements are now set out in land plot development plans, for which a "shelf life" of three years is prescribed. If a construction permit is issued within this period, all subsequent permits, including for commissioning, will be checked against the data contained in the land plot development plan (art. 51, 52, 53 and 55 of the Town-Planning Code).

Also, please note specifically art. 9 of the Law, which incorporates transitional provisions of major practical importance. In particular, data contained in a land plot development plan approved prior to 1 January 2017 may be used for at least three years for preparing design documentation for capital facilities or parts thereof under construction/reconstruction within the boundaries of such a land plot and for having construction permits issued. Once the regionally prescribed time limit has expired, the relevant data may no longer be used.

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1 Federal Law “On amending the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation and selected legislative acts of the Russian Federation to improve the regulatory framework for drafting, negotiating and approving territorial planning documents and to ensure comprehensive and sustainable development of territories, and on repealing selected provisions of legislative acts of the Russian Federation.”

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