Building permit

To commence construction, you need a final and effective building permit

Building permits are issued by large cities (with population exceeding 35,000) and cities that are county seats for their territory, or county offices for all other municipalities and cities. You can find a list of competent bodies on the website of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets
 
List of competent bodies.

Application for issuing a building permit

An application for issuing a building permit shall be submitted by the investor who must send it to the administrative body of a large city, the City of Zagreb or a county competent for carrying out administrative construction activities depending on the place where the construction or reconstruction of a construction work is planned.

The “e-Permit” system ensures that building permits are issued according to uniform procedures in the territory of the entire Republic of Croatia, while the dynamics of issuing permits depend on the level of organisation of county and city competent authorities.

Via the “e-Permit” system, applicants can electronically fill in all required information, attach annexes and projects, and view the stage reached by their application at any moment.

Fill in an application for issuing a building permit via the "e-Permit” system

The following shall be enclosed with the application for issuing a building permit:
  • three copies of the main design
  • the designer's statement that the main design was developed in accordance with the spatial plan and other relevant regulations
  • a written report on the performed main design audit (if the audit is prescribed)
  • a certificate on the main design validation (if the design has been developed according to foreign regulations)
  • certificates of public law bodies that the main design was developed in accordance with special regulations or special requirements and/or evidence that an application was submitted for the issuance of such certificates or determining such requirements, if they were not issued in the period prescribed in this Act
  • certificate of a public law body that the main design was developed in accordance with the decision on the environmental acceptability of the project (if the project is under special regulations subject to the procedure of environmental impact assessment or appropriate assessment of the impact of a project on the ecological network)
  • evidence of legal interest for the issuing of a building permit
  • evidence that he may be the investor (concession, approval or other official act prescribed by a special regulation) in the case of a construction work in the case of a construction work for which a special act prescribes who the investor may be
  • evidence that the building land owner fulfilled his duty to transfer a part of the land into the ownership of the local self-government unit, i.e. his duty to conclude a contract on the establishment of rights-of-way prescribed by a special act governing physical planning, if such duty exists.

Main design

The main design represents a set of harmonised designs which provides for the technical solution of a construction work and attests the compliance with the essential requirements for the construction work as well as with other prescribed and determined requirements and conditions. The main design is developed by certified architects and certified engineers. You can find a list of certified architects and certified engineers on the website of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets. Depending on the type of a construction work or works carried out, the main design includes an architectural design, a civil engineering design, an electro-technical design and a mechanical engineering design. Along with the main design, a separate part of the main design is the surveying design showing the location of one or more construction works on the building plot as well as the shape and size of the building plot, the forming of which is prescribed by the building permit.

List of certified architects and certified engineers
 
The investor or the designer may request notification from the competent administrative body regarding the public law bodies from which it will be necessary to obtain the special requirements in line with which the main design for a specific construction work in a specific location must be developed and information on the manner of implementing the Building Act and/or particular provisions of the spatial plan. You can find a list of public law bodies on the website of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets

List of public law bodies

The request for issuing the notification on special requirements for developing the main design shall be accompanied by a copy of the cadastral plan and the description and display of the construction work planned for construction, if that is required for issuing the notification. The notification on special requirements shall be issued within eight days of submitting the request.

Legal interest

As the building permit has no legal effect on the ownership and other real rights on the property for which it was issued and does not represent grounds for the possession of that property, it is sufficient to prove legal interest for its issuing.
 
The following documents are considered evidence of legal interest:
  • land registry extract indicating that the investor is the owner, or the holder of the right to build on the building plot or the construction work intended for construction
  • pre-contract, contract or conditional contract pursuant to which the investor has acquired or shall acquire the ownership right or building right
  • decision issued by the competent authority pursuant to which the investor has acquired the ownership right or building right
  • partnership contract concluded with the owner of the property, the aim of which is joint construction
  • written approval given by the land owner or the owner of the existing construction work
  • written approval given by the fiduciary owner to the previous property owner who is the investor. 

Issuing of a building permit

A building permit shall be issued after the procedure in which the requirements for its issuance are verified. During the building permit issuing procedure, it is established that:
  • all the prescribed documents have been submitted along with the application and all prescribed main design certificates have been issued
  • as regards the location requirements, the main design has been developed in conformity with the requirements for implementing the project prescribed by the spatial plan
  • the main design has been developed by an authorised person
  • the main design is properly marked
  • the main design is developed in such a manner so as to prevent any modification of its contents or any replacement of its constituent parts
  • the urban development plan has been adopted, provided that the permit is issued in an area where a special act prescribes its adoption.
Before issuing the building permit, the competent building control authority is obliged to provide the parties with the opportunity to access the case file in order to provide an opinion.

A building permit for a building shall be issued provided that all the above indicated requirements have been fulfilled and that it is possible to connect the building plot or the building to the traffic area, or that the building permit for the construction of the traffic area has been issued; furthermore, that it is possible to connect the building to the public waste water drainage system, if the spatial plan does not allow the connection to its own drainage system, and that it is possible to connect the building to a low-voltage electricity supply network or, in the case of a building in which the use of such a system is designed, the building has an autonomous electricity supply system.
The competent office that issued the building permit shall deliver it (without the main design), for information purposes, also to the administrative body of the local self-government unit competent for determining utility charges with the data required for the calculation of those charges, and to the body competent for determining water charges with the data required for the calculation of those charges.

If neither an appeal is lodged nor an administrative dispute is initiated, the building permit becomes final and effective.
 
After the building permit became final and effective, the investor shall pay utility and water charges in accordance with special regulations.

You can find information about the amount of utility charges on the website of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets

Utility charges.

You can find information about water charges on the website of the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets

Water charges.
 
A building permit shall cease to be valid if, within three years from the date it became final and effective, the investor fails to commence construction. The validity of the building permit may be, at the request of the investor, extended once for three more years, provided that the requirements for implementing the project prescribed by the spatial plan have not changed. During this period, the investor shall, not later than eight days before the commencement of construction, submit a written notification thereof to the building control authority.

Amendments to the building permit

If, during construction of a construction work not subject to the issuing of a location permit under a special act, the location requirements are amended, it is required to obtain a decision on amendments to the building permit from the competent construction and physical planning office; the said decision shall be adopted in accordance with the spatial plan under which the building permit was issued, or in accordance with the spatial plan in force at the time of adopting the decision, if so requested by the investor.
 
Only those special requirements or main design certificates which are affected by amendments shall be obtained in the procedure for issuing the decision on amendments to the building permit, and the facts established in the procedure for issuing the permit shall not be reviewed. If the amendments pertain to the external size of the construction work, size and shape of the building plot or location of the construction work, the building control authority shall provide the parties with the opportunity to access the case file in order to provide an opinion.

Change of the investor

If the investor should change during construction, the new investor shall, within fifteen days from the date of the change of the investor, request the building control authority to amend the building permit relating to the change of the investor’s name or corporate name. Along with his application for change of the investor's name, he shall provide evidence of legal interest for the issuance of the building permit or approval of the previous investor, and evidence that he may be the investor (concession, approval or other official act prescribed by a special regulation) in the case of a construction work for which a special act prescribes who the investor may be.
 
A construction work for which the building permit was issued may not be constructed without the decision on the change of the investor’s name or corporate name in the building permit.