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Abstract

The article presents basic changes introduced in the first edition of the governmental Urban Planning and Building Code. The changes regard spatial development, especially planning and permit documents, and competences of the governmental bodies in accepting, legislating and issuing such documents. In this respect, the article points out important regulations for the mining industry, in particular for deposit protection and the initiation of mining projects. In certain cases, critical opinions of some of the governmental institutions are mentioned. In a new document regarding the “Spatial Development Study of a Community”, the draft of the Code orders a division of the community into functional zones. Therefore a mining and extractive industry could be delimited as a functional zone. The Code also specifies that while delimiting a new urbanization area, the documented mining deposits areas should be avoided. In relation to the local spatial plan, the Code establishes the following: in documented strategic mining deposit zones the initiation of non-public purpose investments can only be carried out according to the urban spatial plan. This project also orders that only the local spatial plan can allow for the localization of “establishments that carry a risk of serious industrial breakdown” and “investments that can seriously impact the environment”. The Code also introduces another innovation: the possibility of issuing the local spatial plan with an integrated evaluation on the environmental impact. The “investment permits” are intended to replace both the previous building permits and previous decisions on the conditions of development of the areas not covered in the local spatial plans. The investment permits referring to mining establishments will be issued by the mining administration authorities. The main adverse change for mining is that the exploration of mining deposits owned by the State Treasury loses its previous status of public purposes. The article also indicates that some of the described regulations might be changed during the further legislation process.
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