Building Permission Applications

The subject of building permission in Slovenia is one that we are often asked about by our clients. We have experience of working with many clients to obtain many different types of building permission with the assistance of our range of partner architects / land surveyors / other specialists. The guide below aims to give a basic understanding of the situations when building permission is required and process to obtain it. Please note the permission process is complex and changes to the law are regular so we always recommend that clients discuss their situation with us and we can help put you in touch with the relevant specialists for a point of view on your position where appropriate. Please see our building from scratch page for more information on how the building permission process fits into the overall building process. 

 

When do I need building permission?

The requirement for building permission was introduced in 1967 so buildings built before this date do not need to have building permission for the original basic structure. The law about building permissions has evolved considerably since then and most recently the government has classified buildings into 4 types, which are described in more detail in the panel below:

  • simple buildings (enostavni objekt),
  • un-complex buildings (nezahtevni objekt),
  • low complexity building (manj zahtevni objekt) and
  • complex buildings (zahtevni objekt).

For the first group you don't need to obtain building permission, for structurally simple buildings the building permission process is simplified and can be done without the services of an architect. For low complexity and complex buildings the full building permission process is necessary to obtain if you are:

Building permission necessary for...
building from scratch reconstructing an existing building which include structural alterations
building an extension to an existing building demolishing a building
adding a level to an existing building changing the usage of the building (for example barn to residential usage, or single unit to multi unit)

 

Maintenance / investment works on complex buildings which do not fit in to the above categories do not need building permission provided that they do not affect the structure of the building or the outward appearance beyond what is allowable. As an example roof lights for example generally do not require building permission if they are placed between existing roof timbers. Changing roof tiles does not require building permission, but changing roof timbers does as it is structural.

For buildings which are protected by the cultural heritage office of located in protected areas (for example Triglav National Park) or subject to other kinds of protections there will be additional criteria which must be met by the relevant protecting body and the consent of this body must be obtained in order to get overall building permission.

Building permission is also required for buildings which are illegally built or have illegal elements (e.g. extensions / garages etc). To legalise these a retrospective building permission application is submitted and if approved the usual steps to concluding the permission are followed and usually a fine paid for illegal construction. 

The building permission process in Slovenia is quite long, complicated and can be expensive. On the flip side it does offer the advantage versus other countries that if you follow building regulations, planning guidelines for the plot / area and submit the application in the correct way you can be confident that you will obtain the desired permission. In Slovenian the building permission application is known as the PGD (Projekt za Gradbeno Dovoljenje).

 

Obtaining planning documentation

The first step is to obtain planning documentation to make sure that you land is situated in the area designated for building. In addition the first stage planning documentation will give you details about what can be built on your plot - such as how many floors, how much land can be built upon as a % of the total area, restrictions regarding materials, orientation and pitch of the roof, relevant restrictions such as cultural heritage protection, or environmental factors such as flood plains or proximity to main roads.

 

Land survey

Every complex building permission application needs a land survey conducted by a certified Land Surveyor. This will have information about your land borders, surrounding plots and all infrastructure that is on the plot. such as electrical cables, water pipes, roads, public sewerage, cable TV, Internet etc. We have partner land surveying companies which we can put you in touch with for this stage of the process.

 

Idea project

Arguably the most fun and creative part of the process this is where your ideas for the building are visualised for the first time in the form of basic sketches and architectural plans. Usually done by an architect, or a building engineer it should take into consideration all the restrictions outlined on the planning documents, the architectural considerations in terms of the location of the plot and surroundings and of course the clients wishes. At Think Slovenia we have a variety of architects with different strengths / specialisms who can take you through this process. 

 

Obtaining location data

This part is usually done by an urbanist which usually works with the architect but you can also choose to do your own one if you like. In this documentation all location data is detailed (position, size and shape of the building land; position of the building on the plot, distances of the property away from all the borders, connections of the building to the public infrastructure,... ) Also all influences of the building to the environment, sketches showing everything is in accordance to local planning acts and all data about obtaining project conditions and consents, various other studies.

 

Requesting project conditions

Once location data is in place but Before submitting the main application the applicant or their architect needs to obtain project conditions from local authorities. These are conditions that are issued by the relevant stakeholder to the project for example electrical, water, heating, sewage, road authorities. Once all conditions are received the plans may need to be altered accordingly or supplementary requirements fulfilled in order for the stakeholders to issue their consent to the project. These consents must be included as part of the overall building permission application. An example we faced with one client is that the road authority considered the exit from a courtyard dangerous and the owner needed to install a mirror on the road for safe entry / exit to their property.

 

PGD drawings for obtaining building permission

When all the above is obtained the detailed drawings can be drafted. These are not just the basic floor plans and elevations but include a range of other technical drawings and documentation based on the idea project, planning documents and project conditions.

  

Submitting the application

Usually after a period of 6 months or more the project is finally ready for submission to the Local Administrative Unit. All plans and technical drawings and all consents in relations to project conditions must be attached together with proof of payment of the building permission application fees and "komunalni prispevek" (Municipal charges - which relate to use of public infrastructure which is necessitated by the project) which you settle at Local Municipality. Municipal charges vary significantly from location to location and it is generally higher in towns where there is more municipal infrastructure. In towns communal charges can be quite high (in the thousands rather than hundreds) and this should be budgeted for when budgeting for your application. The local authority has 30 days to issue the building permission from submission or give an answer in case the submission needs amendments. After the building permission is issued further 15 days need to pass for it to be legally binding. Building permission is valid for 2 years meaning you need to start building within 2 years of issuing.

 

Building can start

For many builds you will need to produce a supplementary set of plans called "PZI - projekt izvedenih del" (plans for execution of works) before works can begin. These are more detailed drawings for contractors showing how to conduct certain aspects of the works. By this point normally clients will have tendered out building works and chosen your contractors. Before starting building they will first make sure they have prepared the site correctly. You will also usually have to employ an official building supervisor who will be monitoring the works. 

 

Obtaining permission for use

In some cases before you can move in you need to obtain another document which is Permission for Use. This document basically certifies that the building has been built according to the issued building permission. This is not necessary for single dwelling buildings, simple buildings like sheds, garages or for any building built before 31. December 1967. For certain building types a technical inspection of the building is necessary where all manner of things are checked as appropriate to the building - the contractors Construction Diary, quality of installations, influence of the building on the environment, that "PZI - projekt izvedenih del" (plans for execution of works) are in place, that the "PGD" (building permission application) has been correctly followed. If all is OK the permission for use is issued. If not, you will get a list of things to arrange and a deadline to submit proof that anomalies have been resolved. 

Simple buildings (enostavni objekti)

A simple building is a building that is structurally simple and doesn't need to be checked or approved by a structural engineer. Simple buildings are not intended for dwelling and it has minimal impact on it's surroundings. Examples of simple buildings provided that they have a footprint of less than 20m2: 

Simple building examples
garden shed car port
small wood shed summer kitchen
small conservatory / greenhouse porch
fence (max height 2m) supporting wall (height between land plots max 0.5)
hay rack (max 40m2) cellar (max 40m2)

 

Un-complex buildings (nezahtevni objekt)

Structurally simple buildings are also not intended for dwelling but nevertheless require building permission. The process of obtaining the building permission is simplified and can be usually be done without the services of architects / other professionals. We can assist owners in obtaining the relevant paperwork to make these submissions. The process involves filling in forms with sketches and submitting it to the relevant authorities. Examples of such buildings:

Un-complex building examples
garage conservatory / greenhouse (max 50m2) hay rack (max 150m2)
larger wood shed fence (max 3m) cellar (max 150m2)
covered wood store supporting wall (height between land plots max 1.5) individual parking area (max 200m2)

 

Low complexity buildings (manj zahtevni objekt) 

The official definition of low complexity buildings is that these are all buildings which do not fall into the other three categories of simple / un-complex / complex buildings. In practice this means virtually all residential units if their gross area is less than 2,000 m2 and the building is lower than 25m. Practically all family homes correspond to this group.

 

Complex buildings (zahtevni objekt)

A complex building is a building where people are inhabiting (living, working or recreation) with large dimensions: 2,000.00 m2 gross area and higher of 25m. They may include residential buildings, garage houses , churches, tourism buildings, restaurants, business premises, retail units etc.

 

 

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