Resuming 2016, at the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning it is pointed out that a successful year is behind them in which numerous projects and amendments to legislation were launched, announcing their continuation in 2017
Intensified energy renovation programme in the buildings sector
Minister Lovro Kuščević points out that the energy renovation programme in the buildings sector has been intensified. In 2016, all funds available for pilot projects for energy renovation of buildings of educational institutions were disbursed. Based on pilot projects, a total of 105 decisions were passed launching projects of energy efficiency increase of buildings of nursery schools and schools, pupils’ halls of residence, polytechnics, etc. These projects are financed under the EU Operational Programme "Competitiveness and Cohesion" from 2014 to 2020, and by the Croatian Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.
During 2016, energy renovation of a record number of public sector buildings was launched. In September, the energy renovation project of the Split Clinical Hospital Centre (KBC) – hospital Firule was presented, for a value of 170 million kuna, which to date is the biggest energy renovation project of public sector buildings. In October, by publishing the call for project proposals "Energy renovation of multi-residential buildings“, energy renovation of multi-residential buildings began that is to be financed from the European Regional Development Fund. To date, energy renovation of multi-residential buildings has been financed with Croatian money. On the basis of the first call by the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning 152 million kuna will be granted, and this shall generate investments exceeding 250 million kuna. Up to 2020, for energy renovation projects of multi-residential buildings, Croatia has available 70 million euro from the European Regional Development Fund.
In November 2016, the call was published for submission of project proposals "Energy renovation of buildings and use of renewable energy sources in public institutions performing educational activity". Under this call 152 million kuna have been provided, and in case of utilisation of this amount the allocation can be increased. Earlier, also national funds were used to finance energy renovation projects of public sector buildings. This is the first public call for the award of funds from EU funds.
First phase of the major reform of joining the cadastre and land registers completed
Minister Kuščević points out the completion of the first phase of the major reform of joining the cadastre and land registers. In the territory of Croatia, the Joint Information System (ZIS) of land registers and cadastre has been established. During 2016, land registers and cadastres of Dalmatia and Istria were included in this system, as well as those of Karlovac County, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and Vukovar-Srijem County, and the City of Zagreb. The largest Dalmatian branch office for cadastre in Split-Dalmatia County was included in the joint system in May, and the City of Zagreb, as the largest and most complex system, was included in late 2016. By including the City of Zagreb, the multiannual process of establishing the joint information system has been completed.
Capital assistance for development of utility economy increased from six to 30 million kuna
Capital assistance for the development of utility economy was increased from six to 30 million kuna. In 2016, approval was granted for co-financing of 232 projects of municipalities and cities aimed at utility standard increase and stimulating utility economy development. Over the past years, for co-financing utility projects of local self-government units, the Ministry used to grant not more than six million kuna. The highest individual amount of 338 thousand kuna was granted to the City of Vukovar for the reconstruction of public lighting. The decision on increasing the amount of funds for utility projects is in line with the Government's commitment to a more uniform development of all parts of Croatia and the need for special care to be dedicated to areas with negative demographic trends– as is also proven by the 2017 budget, in which capital assistance for the development of utility economy amounts to 40 million kuna.
State-subsidised housing construction (POS dwellings) intensified
It is reminded by the Ministry that also construction of dwellings under the programme of state subsidised housing construction (POS) has been intensified. In 2016, 825 dwellings were completed and moved in, namely 203 dwellings in Kila 4 in Split, 519 in Zapruđe in Zagreb, 73 in Zadar and 30 in Gospić. The foundation stone was laid for 55 dwellings in Metković and 12 dwellings in Fažana. Also in the 2017 budget of the Agency for Transactions and Mediation in Immovable Properties (APN), which amounts to 322 million kuna, the amount of 220 million kuna was allocated by the Ministry for the construction of POS dwellings. At present, more than a thousand dwellings are either in the stage of preparation or of realisation. A call for expression of interest in POS dwellings in Zagreb was published and citizens could apply by 20 January 2017. In Split several locations are under consideration, and the POS programme is to be realised also in Solin, Bol on the island of Brač, in Mali Lošinj, Vis…
Numerous location and building permits issued for strategic projects
In 2016, the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning issued numerous location and building permits for strategic projects, among which the permits for Pelješac bridge and "Franjo Tuđman" Airport in Zagreb are particularly outstanding. By location permit issuance for the Pelješac bridge the official application for funds from EU funds has been enabled, as well as submission of the building permit application for the entire Pelješac bridge project with the Ston ring road.
In 2016, the Ministry also prepared several legislative proposals that are undergoing adoption procedure, public debate, or have already been adopted by the Croatian Parliament. In December, the Draft proposal of the Act on Housing Loan Subsidies was launched for public debate, and there are also the Building Act, the Physical Planning Act, the Act on the State Survey and Real Estate Cadastre and other acts, which are to facilitate, accelerate and improve the physical planning system and construction.
Subordinate acts adopted that improve the system and remove parafiscal charges paid by citizens
The Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning adopted subordinate acts that improve the system and remove parafiscal charges paid by citizens. Thus, in March 2016, by amending the Ordinance on energy audits of buildings and energy certification, providers of hospitality services of accommodation in dwellings, apartments and holiday houses were exempted from the requirement of obtaining energy certificates. Neither Directive 2010/31/EU nor the Croatian Building Act prescribed this requirement and there was no legal basis to insist on.
By this decision the minister of construction and physical planning Lovro Kuščević fulfilled his election promise, with the decision being based on the principle that Croatian economy, in order to be competitive and to develop, needs to be disburdened and exempted from all unnecessary obligations.