I NEW LEGAL FRAMEWORK OF TOWN PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION
Decree-Law No. 136/2014, of 9 September, amending Decree-Law No. 555/99, of 16 December
O Decree-Law No 136/2014, of 9 September, amending for the thirteenth time Decree - Law No 555/99, of 16 December, which set out the legal framework of town planning and construction (RJUE), and amending for the second time Decree-Law No 307/2009, of 23 October, which sets out the legal framework of urban regeneration and amending for the first time Decree-Law No 163/2006 of 8 August, which defines the rules of access to buildings and premises open to the public, public road and residential buildings.
While, in the case of the latter two decree-laws only slight amendments were made, in the case of the RJUE, a truly structural change took place, or as defined in the law itself “a systematic change”, which therefore should be analysed more in detail.
The implementation of a new RJUE follows the recent approval of Law No 31/2014, of 30 May, which laid down the general basis of the public policy of soil, spatial planning and town planning, as supplementary legislation.
Throughout the successive amendments made to the RJUE, there has been an obvious trend of decreasing the intensiveness of ex ante controls by the Public Administration, and, consequently, an increase of private responsibility, based on the principle of trust in the parties – which are factors that are, again, embodied in the New RJUE.
As stressed in the preamble, Decree-Law No 136/2014, of 9 September, steps up the effort to simplify and bring the Administration closer to citizens and companies.
From among the numerous amendments made, noteworthy is, to begin with, the extension of the prior communication procedure.
The prior communication must consist of a declaration, addressed to the Presidente da Câmara Municipal (Mayor), sent online through the electronic platform to be regulated by portaria (Ordinance) of the Government members in charge for the area of administrative modernisation, local government and spatial planning.
Provided the prior communication is properly processed and where the conditions for the implementation of a given town planning operation are sufficiently defined, by simply submitting the communication, the interested party may proceed to carry out certain town planning operations immediately after payment of the fees due, such as reconstruction works that do not result in the increase of the height of the façade or of the number of floors, among others.
On the other hand, with regard to legal definitions, it was chosen to review the concept of extension, modification and reconstruction works. In particular, noteworthy is the review of the last concept, reconstruction, which now corresponds to “construction works following the total or partial demolition of an existing building, which give rise to the rebuilding of the structure of façades”, an option clearly based on the purpose of promoting urban regeneration.
Another of the important innovations set out in the new RJUE, concerns the parties that take part in the meeting called by the CCDR (Comissão de Coordenação e Desen- volvimento Regional) (Regional Coordination and Development Commission) in those cases in which the bodies that comment on the town planning operation in question gave a negative opinion. The meeting is attended not only by those bodies but, from now on, also by the applicant him or herself, with a view to reaching a concerted solution.
The following changes must also be highlighted:
- Limitation of the assessment in the context of licensing to the impact of the operation in terms of town planning, while the interiors of the building are no longer subject to analysis, which indirectly promotes the accountability of the technical staff that authored the design;
- Reduction of the time of external consultations, with the establishment of a single 20-day period for the bodies of the Central Administration to give their comment, instead of the previous 40-day maximum period;
- Mention of the time period in allotment permits, that is, the application of time limits to new allotments seeks to ensure sustainable use of the land, through the planning and guarantee of the economic viability of town planning operations;
- Time limits applicable to the right to build, with a view to end areas capable of being developed and prevent the existence of expectant land waiting for the possible physical expansion of urban areas.
Finally, it should be reminded that part of the changes provided for, in p articular those that somehow refer to or depend upon the electronic platform referred to above, are still to be regulated, in particular by means of future “Portarias” (Ordinances).
This Decree-law shall take effect on 9 January 2015.
II NATIONAL LEGISLATION
Approving the second amendment to Law No 8/2007 of 14 February, which restructures the holder of the concession for public radio and television services, as well as the new by-laws of Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, S. A.
Amending for the second time Law No 27/2007, of 30 July (Television and On-Demand Audiovisual Services Law), changing the content of the programs included in the public television service concession.
Determining the beginning of the procedure of the opening up of public passenger transport services provided by the companies Sociedade Transportes Coletivos do Porto, S.A., and Metro do Porto, S.A., to private initiative through the sub-concession of those services.
Legislative Order on Article 397 of the PPC (Public Procurement Code) enacted by Decree-Law No 18/2008 of 29 January.
Adapting Decree-Law No 167/2008, of 26 August, that establishes the legal framework applicable to the granting of public subsidies, to the Autonomous Region of Mad eira.
Approving, for the current year, the distribution of compensation among the various companies that provide public services.
Energy and Water Sector
Laying down the procedures necessary for the implementation of the detailed invoicing system provided for in Law No 12/2014, of 6 March, which amended for the second time Decree-Law No 194/2009, of 20 August, on public water supply, wastewater sanitation and urban waste management services.
Despacho (Decree) No 9480/2014. D.R. (Portuguese official gazette) (Portuguese official gazette) No 139, Series II of 2014-07-22, issued by the Secretary of State for Energy
Establishing the remuneration of the deferral of the passing on to 2014 electricity tariffs of the non-passed on amount of the annual adjustment of the compensation payable on grounds of the early termination of electricity purchase contracts, relating to 2012.
Directive No 15/2014. D.R. (Portuguese official gazette) (Portuguese official gazette) No 152, Series II of 2014-08-08, issued by the Electricity Services Regulatory Entity (ERSE)
Approving the standard report concerning procedures of unforeseeable circumstances or events of force majeure in the area of natural gas.
Territorial borders between the councils of Sesimbra and Se ixal, in the district of Setúbal.
Approves an autonomous legal framework of the operation of local lodging establishments.
Amending for the second time Law No 68/93, of 4 September, the Law of Baldios (wasteland), amending the Tax Benefit Code, enacted by Decree-Law No 215/89, of 1 July, and amending for the ninth time the Litigation Costs Regulation, enacted by Decree-Law No 34/2008, of 26 February.
Authorising the Government to introduce special provisions in the field of misdemeanours, in the context of the creation of an exceptional and extraordinary regularisation scheme to be applied to industrial establishments, farms, quarries and facilities where waste management operations are carried out, on the grounds of non-compliance with the spatial plans in force or with administrative easements and public utility, and to enshrine special provisions in the field of the application of measures of protection of administrative legality.
Legislative Order No 8/2014. D.R. (Portuguese official gazette) No 136, Series II of 2014-07-17, issued by the Secretary of State for Agriculture
Determining the establishment of additional implementation r ules, of legibility and priority criteria, and of administrative procedures to be complied with in the attribution of planting rights from reserves, for the establishing of vineyards.
Establishing the necessary procedures for the implementation of the detailed invoicing system provided for in Law No 12/2014 of 6 March, which amended for the second time Decree-Law No 194/2009 of 20 August, with regard to public water supply, wastewater sanitation and urban waste management services.
Amending the legal framework of the regional derrama (additional local tax).
Portaria (Ordinance) No 172/2014. D.R. (Portuguese official gazette) No 171, Series I of 2014-09-05, approved by the Minister of Economy, by the Minister of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, by the Minister of Agriculture and Sea, by the Ministry of Health and by the Ministry of Education and Science
Establishing the composition, the method of operation and the tasks of the Conselho Consultivo de Avaliação de Impacte Ambiental.
Portaria (Ordinance) No 187-A/2014. D.R. (Portuguese official gazette) No 179, Supplement, Series I of 2014-09-17, approved by the Secretary of State for Environment
Approving the Strategic Plan for Urban Waste (PERSU 2020), for Mainland Portugal.
Public Administration and Regulation
Opinion No 7/2014. D.R. (Portuguese official gazette) No 126, Series II of 2014-07-03, granted by the Public Prosecutor
Public Institutes. Scope of representation in court by the Public Prosecutor .
Amending for the eight time Law No 91/2001, of 20 August (Budgetary Framework Law).
Approving the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness and Transparency.
Authorising the Government to approve the new Administrative Procedure Code.
Election of the members of the Comissão de Acesso aos Documentos Administrativos (CADA) (Committee on Access to Administrative Documents).
Launching of the procedure for the classification of 13 works of Joan Miró belonging to Parups, S. A.
Launching of the procedure for the classification of 72 works of Joan Miró belonging to PARVALOREM, S. A.
Adopting the legal framework of financial municipal recovery regulating the Fundo de Apoio Municipal (Municipal Support Fund), and amending for the first time Law No 50/2012 of 31 August, which adopted the legal framework on local business and local holdings.
Amending for the first time Decree-Law No 98/2011 of 21 September, establishing the
Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude, I. P.
Approving the Strategy for the Re-organisation of Public Administration Services.
III COMMUNITARY LEGISL ATION
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 771/2014, of 14 July 2014, laying down rules pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund with regard to the model for operational programmes, the structure of the plans for the compensation of addi tional costs incurred by operators in the fishing, farming, processing and marketing of certain fishery and aquaculture products from the outermost regions, the model for the transmission of financial data, the content of the ex ante evaluation reports and the minimum requirements for the evaluation plan to be submitted under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund;
Commission Implementing Decision, of 15 July 2014, identifying the priorities of the Union for enforcement and control policy in the framework of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund;
Commission Regulation (EU) No 900/2014, of 15 July 2014, amending, for the purpose of its adaptation to technical progress, Regulation (EC) No 440/2008 laying down test methods pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH);
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 834/2014, of 22 July 2014, laying down rules for the application of the common monitoring and evaluation framework of the common agricultural policy
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 836/2014, of 31 July 2014, amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control ;
Commission Regulation (EU) No 991/2014, of 19 September 2014, amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 396/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards maximum residue levels for fosetyl in or on certain products.