Prokupljesmall hydropower plants

RERI’s request has been adopted – construction permit for SHPP Rastovnica is now formally declared invalid as well

Photo: RERI arhive

Deciding on the request of the Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI), the City Administration of the City of Prokuplje on 23 September 2020 passed a decision initiating the termination of the construction permit, which was issued in 2015 to the investor – RASTING MV d.o.o. Belgrade, for the construction of SHPP Rastovnica, on three water intakes on the Dobrotićka, Balčačka and Bučinska rivers, in the municipality of Prokuplje.

RERI’s legal team submitted a Request for issuing a decision declaring the termination of the building permit for this power plant, on 17 December 2019.

Furthermore, RERI filed several urgencies, due to the lack of adequate reaction of the competent authorities, as well as a complaint due to the silence of the administration, which required the competent authorities to act upon the submitted request in accordance with their powers, and thus prevent the possible beginning of the construction by the investors.

According to the provisions of the Law on Planning and Construction, which were in force at the time of the decision on the construction permit for SHPP Rastovnica, “the construction permit ceases to be valid if the execution of the works is not reported within 2 (two) years from the days of the finality of the decision by which it was issued.”

With this in mind, RERI hired a construction expert witness, who prepared a finding and opinion, inspecting the situation on the ground, explicitly stating that the investor did not start executing the works within the legal deadline.

In addition to the above, the competent authority – the Department for Inspection Affairs of the City Administration of the City of Prokuplje, based on the request of RERI, determined that the investor did not begin with the construction works within the legal deadline.

Having in mind the above, the building permit for SHPP Rastovnica, which became final on 5 January 2016, by force of law, ceased to be valid on 5 January 2018, and the competent authorities were obliged to state the above and thereby warning of the possible beginning of the construction, which would cause irreparable damage to watercourses in the municipality of Prokuplje.

Although the decision declaring the termination of the construction permit was issue after ignoring all statutory deadlines, RERI welcomes the decision of the competent authorities, because it believes that it was made in accordance with positive regulations and the legal order of the Republic of Serbia and encourages all competent authorities and employees to act regardless of the internal and external pressures that occur on a daily basis.

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