Agricultural Lands Committee to decide on change of land designation for energy sites construction
June 25, 2010
At its sitting held on June 25, 2010 the National Assembly adopted at first reading the amendments to the Law for Preservation of Agricultural Lands proposed by the Council of Ministers and Mihail Mihaylov M.P. (The Blue Coalition). Due to the increased investment interest to the construction of renewable energy production sites a proposal was made to include a representative of the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism in the composition of the Agricultural Lands Committee. The change of land designation for categories one to four and irrigated lands into lands used for the purpose of energy sites construction shall lie within the competence of the Agricultural Lands Committee in view of the enhanced necessity for protection and control. A limitation is introduced to the construction and/or expansion of RES electric power production sites on agricultural lands of category one to four or irrigated lands in order to ensure the protection of highly fertile agricultural lands. That shall be permitted when the lands fall into territories outlined in specialized maps drawn by the National Renewable Energy Plan adopted by the Council of Ministers on a proposal by the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.
The draft bill is initiated by the Blue Coalition M.P. Mihail Mihaylov and proposes amendments to the transitional and concluding provisions of the Law for Preservation of Agricultural Lands prohibiting the change of agricultural lands designation and effective deals with such lands if they have been acquired through swaps before January 1, 2010. In his view there is a probability for the swaps of land from the State Lands Fund to be considered non-regulated state support. His proposal is aimed at preventing this probability and limiting eventual losses for the Bulgarian state.