On 13th January 2023 amendments to Law No. 50/1991 on the on the authorization of construction works (“Law No. 50/1991”) shall enter into force.
The amendments have been introduced by means of the Law No. 21/2023 amending and supplementing Law No. 50/1991, published in the Official Gazette, Part I, No. 28 of 10 January 2023 (“Law No. 21/2023”).
A. MAIN LEGAL AMENDMENTS ON RES DEPLOYMENT
As of 13th January 2023, building permits for the authorisation of construction works for the following investments are expressly exempted from prior approval of an urban planning documentation (e.g. zoning plan (“PUZ”)):
– [50 ha RES plants] investment objectives specific to the production of electricity from renewable sources (e.g. solar, wind, biomass, bioliquids and biogas energy production capacities, electricity storage units, transformer stations or other similar systems) to be located in the extra muros area on agricultural land plots bearing soil quality classes III, IV and V, only if the projects fit to a maximum area of 50 ha;
– [high-voltage power lines] high-voltage power lines to be located on extra muros agricultural land plots bearing soil quality classes I and II.
B. TIMELINE & CORRELATION OF PREVIOUS LEGAL AMENDMENTS
In short, the permitting process may be different depending on whether it is started before or after the entrance into force of the Law No. 254/2022 and Law No. 21/2023.
Consequently, the urban planning certificates issued:
– prior to 24th July 2022 have always been subject to a PUZ approval (i.e. the Articles 91(1) and 92(1) of the Land Law as in force until 24th July 2022 in conjunction with the Article 471 of the Law No. 350/2001 regarding the urbanism and the territorial planning);
– in the period between 24th July 2022 and 13th January 2023 are not excluded to have been required the elaboration and approval of the PUZ even if they are developed in the extra muros area (i.e. the Article 92(2)j) of the Land Law as amended by means of Law No. 254/2022 in conjunction with the Article 47(3) of the Law No. 350/2001 regarding the urbanism and the territorial planning);
– as of 13th January 2023, will not include the PUZ elaboration and approval as a prerequisite for 50 ha RES plants (i.e. the Article 92(2)j) of the Land Law in conjunction with the Article 111 g) of the Law No. 50/1991).
C. DOES THE LAW PROVIDE FOR TRANSITIONAL SOLUTIONS?
In principle, the Law No. 21/2023 was to include legislative solutions for transitional situations, where the new provisions affect legal situations which arose under the old regulation, but which had not fully produced their effects by the date of entry into force of the new regulation.
At the date, transitional situations are not regulated, meaning that general principles shall apply, meaning that the urban planning certificates already issued will follow the legal provisions applicable at the date of their issuance. Resuming the permitting procedure may represent a remedy for projects subject to PUZ approval.
 Article 92(2) c) of the Land Law: „serving agricultural activities and/or related services, respectively: mineral or natural fertiliser stores, composting buildings, feed silos, sheds, sheds, silos for the storage and preservation of seeds for consumption, including the administrative premises relating thereto, platforms and storage areas for primary agricultural products, animal shelters and livestock holdings/livestock farms, greenhouses, solar, nurseries, mushroom farms, specific objectives for the production of electricity from renewable sources, exclusively for the purpose of providing energy for the holding’s own consumption, located on farms, premises for the processing/processing/marketing of crop and livestock products, buildings for agri-tourism purposes for projects financed by European funds”;
 Article 92(2) e) of the Land Law: “household annexes of agricultural holdings as defined in point 4 of Annex no. 2 to Law no. 50/1991 on the authorisation of construction works, republished, with subsequent amendments and additions;”