The new spatial plan of Montenegro is only due next year

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The Minister of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism in the technical mandate, Ana Novaković Đurović , said in an interview for “Dan” that the preparation of the new spatial plan of Montenegro can be expected in the first quarter of 2023, and not at the end of this year as previously planned.

Se believes that it is “not tragic” to break the deadlines, because “we have a valid planning document” in force, even though it is of poor quality.

– The Spatial Plan from 2008 is in force. A new plan, which started two years ago, is in the process of being drawn up. Njag’s production was stopped at one point, which affected the dynamics. I believe that we will quickly get from the concept base to the spatial plan draft base. It was planned to adopt the spatial plan by the end of this year, but due to the disturbed dynamics, that is almost uncertain. It is very likely that the spatial plan will wait until the first quarter of next year. I don’t think it’s tragic because, on the one hand, we have a valid planning document, and on the other hand, it’s important to use the time and get the highest quality document possible and not be enslaved by deadlines. That is a better approach than speeding up the process just to meet the deadline – Novaković Đurović assessed.

She says that the prolongation of the preparation of the strategic planning document will not require additional costs, and that the contract with the expert team for its preparation was signed in 2019, in the amount of 500,000 euros.

– The money is paid out in stages based on what the expert team turns out to be a finished product, so that until now, funds have been paid from that fund for the analysis of the situation and the development of the concept. Exactly what the expert team delivered – says Novaković Đurović.

According to her, they also moved the deadline for the preparation of the general regulation plan for July 2023.

– The reason is that in the previous mandate, the preparation of the general regulation plan was suspended and it was not possible to meet the set deadlines. However, it is important that all valid planning documents remain valid until the adoption of the general regulation plan, so that we are not in a formal-legal vacuum. We have the Free Plan and planning documents and the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction of Buildings in force until the adoption of new legal solutions – assures Minister Novaković Đurović.

Asked about the quality of the valid planning documents, Novaković Đurović says that she is not satisfied with them, and that this is why new plans are being made.

– We also started drafting a new law on spatial planning and building construction. We are also working on a new planning document and a new law in parallel because we are aware that obviously we all suffer damage due to bad planning documentation – assesses Novaković Đurović.

She expects results in the case of illegal exploitation of gravel

Novaković Đurović warns that the illegal exploitation of gravel from Morača is a complex problem.

– The problem is of an interdepartmental nature. The role of the ministry is within the competence of the urban planning and construction inspection. We need to establish better coordination within numerous departments and the Government is quite committed to that topic. I believe that we will soon come out with concrete results in this case – concludes Novaković Đurović.

Novaković Đurović explains that due to a series of problems, the dynamics of legalization of illegal buildings in Montenegro has slowed down.

– The lack of planning documentation affects the legalization process. An object that is not covered by planning documentation cannot be legalized. Another problem is the obvious lack of capacity in the municipalities. Municipalities were supposed to prepare lists of illegal buildings in their territories. Objectively, covid had an effect on slowing down that process. Some municipalities have submitted lists of illegal objects, and we are still waiting for some. However, this is a prerequisite for us to be able to carry out the legalization process – said Novaković Đurović.

According to her, new solutions will be introduced through amendments to the law on spatial planning, which will enable the acceleration of procedures for the legalization of illegal buildings and enable citizens to fulfill their requests.

– The working group that changes the law works intensively. We received a lot of comments and suggestions regarding changes to this law. The public is very interested in this regulation – the minister points out.

An ecological state is the ideal they aspire to

Novaković Đurović agrees that Montenegro is not yet an essentially ecological country, and that this is the ideal they strive for.

– It is specific that Montenegro is defined as an ecological country and 30 years have been missed to really make the key moves and results so that we can be that in practice as well, except on paper. There are a lot of problems, but a lot of work is also being done. We do our best to meet European standards. Infrastructure projects are important. They cost money. Environmental protection costs money and must be invested in – stressed Novaković Đurović, saying that insufficient investment is being made in environmental protection and that much more is needed.

Answering the question of which part of Montenegro is most threatened by illegal construction, Novaković Đurović says that they have serious problems in the south of the country.

Prime Minister in technical mandate Dritan Abazović recently said that the Department of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism needs to work faster, and Novaković Đurović says that she did not see this as criticism.

– I did not see it as a criticism of the Prime Minister. We exchanged opinions regarding the dynamics of work within the department. We do this all the time and it is very important. As for the comments, we agreed in a significant part, and they mostly related to the work of the urban planning and construction inspection, and I am not satisfied with the department’s results in that part, there are problems and there was a lot of talk about the issue of the demolition of buildings. The procedure for demolishing buildings is not the responsibility of our inspection alone. Demolition is carried out in coordination with other services. We had problems in that cooperation. We need to strengthen the personnel of the inspection. We are missing an inspector. I hope we will double the capacity. Now we have 15 inspectors – emphasized Novaković Đurović, adding that a significant number of buildings must be demolished, local media writes.

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