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The Albanian legal framework on territorial planning and development has recently undergone many changes. As of 1st October 2014 the new Law No. 107/2014 “On Territorial Planning and Development”, has come into effect and has repealed the Law No. 10119, dated 23.04.2009 “On Territorial Planning” as well as all related subsidiary legislation. New subsidiary legislation is foreseen to be enacted within 6 months from the date the new law has entered into force (i.e. 31st March 2015) and will enact the procedures and other requirements to issue a construction and development permit, as well as planning instruments and the regulations on development. The responsibilities of territory planning are divided into central and local levels. At the central level, the responsible planning authorities include: (i) the Council of Ministers, (ii) the National Territory Council (‘NTC’), (iii) the ministry responsible for territory planning and development; whereas at the local level, planning competencies are vested with the districts (i.e. District Council) and the municipalities (i.e. the Municipality Council as well as the Mayor). In reference to territory development, the NTC and the mayors have been appointed as competent authorities. The competences of the NTC include the approval of the development and construction permits for a variety of complex developments that are related to areas or objects of public and national interest or strategic investments. The new law on territorial planning and development provides three types of permits. First, the  development permit constitutes a document that determines the conditions upon which the development of a land/part of land will be conducted. The development permits will be considered as a basis upon which the construction permits will be issued. Second, the construction permit is the document upon which any new construction, renovation, restoration or demolition of existing buildings, installations or temporary constructions will be conduct, except the construction works that will be conducted based on the preliminary declaration. Third, the preliminary declaration for conducting construction works is a self-declaration submitted to the relevant planning authority to report the performance of construction works, considered as nonessential additions at any facility, or having a temporary nature for which there is no legal obligation to issue a construction permit. A novelty introduced by the new law includes the application for construction permits through the website of the Integrated Register of the Territory, which will be conducted based on the “one-stop-shop” principle. The relevant authority will decide on the permit within 60 days from submission of the application form. The permit should be delivered to the applicant within 15 days thereafter (i.e. from the date the Major approves the permit) or 30 days thereafter (i.e. from the date NT C approves the permit). The entity holding the permit should commence the construction works within 1 year from the date of the permit approval; otherwise the construction permit will not be valid. The new law provides that the period to complete the construction works may be postponed only once. The principle of “tacit approval” has been presented with the aim to ease the procedures for issuing new development and construction permits, with an exemption for the permits that are subject to approval by the NTC or for permits granted for conducting construction works representing high risk. The new law offers favourable incentive, in general, provided for specific investors or applications. At the end of the development process, “the certificate of use” of completed construction will be provided by the relevant authority that has previously issued the construction permit.


Flavia Xhafo is an associate in Kalo & Associates Tirana office.

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