How to get a building permit? - Phase 1 - Preparation

23 March 2010 - Comments (0) Procedures

How to get a building permit? - Phase 1 - Preparation The New Law on planning and construction, passed in summer 2009, put in place a new procedure to obtain a construction permit. In a series of articles, we explain the complete procedure based on this new law. In this first installment, we focus on the preparatory work that goes before the submission of a request for the location permit.

Changes brought by the New Law

Before the New Law, obtaining a building permit was done through 3 formal steps : obtaining the act of urban conditions for the land, obtaining the building approval based on an architectural design, and last, obtaining the announcement of the work based on the detailed project.

With the New Law, this procedure has been streamlined in 2 formal steps : obtaining the location permit, based on a preliminary design of the object, and obtaining the proper building permit based on the detailed project.

In this first article, we look at the preparatory work. The second article will focus on the location permit, while the last article will look into the building permit.

1 - Location information

The first step is to obtain information about the location where the building is planned. In the New Law, the formal "act of urban conditions" also called "urban plan excerpt" has been replaced by a non formal document called the "location information".

This document provides all the necessary information about the plot. There are other ways to get information about a plot (such as using online tools) and the location information is not a compulsory document. It is a good idea to get it anyway, in order to see the conditions to form a buildable plot and to obtain the technical conditions to connect to the existing infrastructure (see below). We have another article explaining how to get the location information.

2 - Ownership rights

To do anything on the buildable plot, it is necessary to have the document attesting of the ownership rights of the investor on it. The New Law replaced user rights by private ownership. So there are now 3 ways to prove ownership rights:

  • Rights of use: this is the most common case at the moment as people didn't yet convert their rights of use into private ownership rights (by the New Law). You need to obtain the ownership paper (called in Serbian “vlasnicki list”). It used to be provided by the Second Municipality Court but most of it moved to a new organization called Real Estate Cadastre that is a part of the Republic Geodetic Authority (RGA).
  • Private ownership: this is the new possibility made possible by the New Law.
  • Rights of lease: this is a contract of lease of the land on a given duration.

3 - Making a buildable plot

In the location information document of the cadastral parcel, it will be stated if that cadastral parcel fulfill the conditions to form a buildable plot. If so, it is the simplest case where the buildable plot is made of the complete cadastral parcel without any additional work.

There are other possibilities where the simplest case does not apply:

  • the cadastral parcel does not have a direct access to a public road
  • there is a correction of the borders to perform. A correction of the borders of the land would be compulsory to perform if it is necessary in order to gain access to a public road
  • the cadastral parcel needs to be split in several buildable plots
  • several cadastral parcels need to be joined to form one buildable plot.

In all of those cases, it is necessary to make an project for parcellation or reparcellation or an urbanism project. We explain this procedure in another article.

At the end, whether an urbanism project was needed or not, a buildable plot has to be formed. For that, an accredited geodetic company, has to come to delimit the plot on which the construction will be done and issue a geodetic snapshot. They will submit it to the Republic Geodetic Authority (RGA) in order to obtain a report on the formation of the buildable plot.

4 - Converting the land from agricultural to buildable

In the suburb of Belgrade, there is still a lot of land that was agricultural before and that became buildable with the expansion of the city and the realization of new detailed urban plans. Yet, as long as the land is not built, it keeps its class of agricultural land. In order to develop the land and make an object, the land needs to be first converted and of course a conversion tax needs to be paid. That conversion has to be done before the submission of the request for the location permit. We have a dedicated article on that procedure.

5 - Getting the technical conditions for connection to the existing infrastructure

This step is not strictly necessary to perform before submitting for the location permit but it is interesting to do it for 2 reasons :

  • to speed up the procedure by getting the conditions earlier
  • to see the possibilities of connections and be able to estimate the involved cost associated to those connections.

To get those technical conditions, you need to submit an individual request to each public utility company that applies on the plot (connection to the electric grid, water distribution, sewage, natural gas distribution, district heating, garbage removal).

6 - Removal of existing objects on the land

If the constructible plot has already been built with one or more objects that need to be removed in order to make space for the new construction, a project of removal of facilities has to be prepared and submitted. One would likely do this before submitting for the location permit as it can take time to remove existing objects and as it might be necessary to make place for other land preparation activities.

The removal of a facility is defined in the article 168 of the New Law. Together with the request for permission of removal, you need to submit:

  1. the main project for the removal in three copies;
  2. the proof of ownership of the facility;
  3. special conditions, in case of a facility whose removal would endanger the public interest (protection of existing and other infrastructure, protection of cultural goods, protection of the environment etc.).

The permission for the removal of the facility, will be issued within 15 days from submission of the request.

Request for the location permit

Having done all that preparatory work, it is the moment to prepare the request for the location permit. With look at it in the next article.

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