How to Obtain Permission Documents for Construction: Changes to the Procedure and Terms. New Preferences for Trunk Pipelines

04.02.2021

Legal Update No 827

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP (formerly Goltsblat BLP in Russia) advises that Federal Law No. 468-FZ dated 29 December 2020 “Amending the Town-Planning Code and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” (the “Law”) has come into force.

The Law triggers various amendments to the legislation, particularly the following:

  • Part 10 was added to Article 4 of Federal Law No. 191-FZ dated 29 December “On Enacting the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation”. As per this Part, until 1 January 2024, in relation to capital facilities for which construction permits were issued before 1 January 2020 and for which commissioning permits have not yet been issued:

    • one of the grounds for refusing a commissioning permit has changed. Generally, a permit should be refused if the facility does not comply with the permitted use of the land plot and/or restrictions introduced by the land or other laws as of the commissioning permit issue date (Clause 5, Part 6, Article 55 of the Russian Town-Planning Code). Instead, until 1 January 2024, correspondence by the capital facility with the permitted use and restrictions effective on the commissioning permit issue date should be assessed. The new rule is in investors’ interests since it reduces risks triggered by changes in the land use and development rules introduced during construction.
    • Clause 8, Part 21.15, Article 51 of the Russian Town-Planning Code does not apply. As per the given Clause, filing an application for amending a construction permit less than ten business days before its expiry serves as a reason for rejecting the amendments.
  • The rule has been detailed and extended for complete linear facility overhauls of trunk gas, oil and petroleum product pipelines: they may be upgraded, the result including changes in buffer zones established due to their location (Part 10, Article 52 of the Russian Town-Planning Code). You might remember that overhaul of linear facilities is generally understood as changes in the characteristics of the linear facilities or their sections (elements) without changes to their class, category and/or original performance ratios or the need to move the boundaries of relevant easement areas and/or buffer zones (Article 1 of the Russian Town-Planning Code). So the amendments mean that holders of rights to trunk gas, oil and petroleum product pipelines will, in the given situations, save time since they do not need to obtain reconstruction permission documents.
  • The legislation has also been amended to reduce the time required for preparing town-planning and permission documents, such as amendments to land use and development rules, permission for departures from the maximum parameters for permitted construction, and approval of the territory plan.

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