Applications for building permission in Bulgaria

Types of land in Bulgaria

There are a few types of plots that you can buy in Bulgaria :

1. Regulated land in Bulgaria – this is a plot of land located within the boundaries of a village or a town. Such plots could be allocated for building a residential building, sport and recreation buildings, industrial buildings or green areas. In order to draw architect plans and start building on such plot all you need to have is a visa from the municipality. In the visa the architect will see the limitations for the specific plot which were given by the municipality.

2. Land with changed status, this is a plot of land which used to be agricultural and it status was changed from agricultural to regulated. Part of the regulation procedure is the so-called PUP, it is a bunch of drawings and documents prepared by an architect. Depending on the PUP you might be allowed to build residential, holiday buildings, industrial or any other type of buildings.

View from the plot

3. Land that is regulated but with different type of use, for example a regulated plot of land allocated for green area, you might be able in some cases, although rarely, to change its status and make it for residential building. This procedure involves preparing of  PUP and takes a couple of months.

4. Agricultural land in Bulgaria – this is land allocated for agriculture, you can change its status and use it for building residential, industrial, holiday or any other type of buildings. The process takes between 1.5 – 2 years time and involves significant paperwork.

The type of building you can build on a plot of land in Bulgaria (height restrictions and so on) is set out in what is commonly referred to locally as the PUP or visa depending if the plot of land was already regulated or is with changed type for use. If the building work that you intend to carry out is not permitted in the PUP or visa then you will have to engage an architect to apply in the municipality to have the PUP changed, in case the land is already regulated and you have a visa issued by the local municipality, and it states for example Kint: 1.8, height: 10 meters, density 40% that means that for example on 1000 sq.m. plot of land you can build a total area of 1800 sq.m. but the building should not be higher than 10 meters and the built up area on the ground should not be more than 400 sq.m.

houses in Bulgaria

In case you are changing the status of the land with PUP your immediate neighbours will be allowed a certain time (around two weeks) to object. If it passes you will be able to apply for a visa and get the above stated limitations, they might vary for the different regions and types of properties in Bulgaria.

If your property in Bulgaria is in an area protected by the National Institute for Monuments of Culture (NIMC) or the building itself is listed with the Institute, then special approval of your designs is required from them before the building works can proceed. If the NIMC is involved, the approval process will be longer and more complicated. Your architect should be able to advise you on this. Some architects might advise against seeking approval from the NIMC but you are strongly advised to follow all necessary procedures, despite the time and any financial costs entailed, that is the legal way and in this way you will avoid any future troubles.

rural house in Bulgaria

Getting the Bulgarian builders to follow your instructions and the architectural plans

Leslie Barker, who lives in Yantra, says “We moved to Bulgaria two years ago after living in Crete. We bought our house in Bulgaria, which is located in a beautiful area in central Bulgaria. The house required the usual Bulgarian property renovation works. We had been through this process in Crete, but made the mistake of leaving much of the work to the builders (as they know best!) and ended up with a house that didn’t really resemble what we had planned. We decided this time we would be present and hands-on throughout the building process of our house in Bulgaria. We completed the project within the budget that we have allocated beforehand and ended up with a house looking the way we had planned, with few disasters, for which we count ourselves very lucky.

rural tourism in bulgaria

We really had only one situation where things didn’t go quite as they should have. The downstairs of the house was the first area to be completed, and after four months we were very excited that we would be finally getting an inside toilet, which would flush and everything. If we had known then it would be another three months before our toilet was installed, murder might have been on the agenda. The builder was not happy with the place we wanted to put our toilet; he wanted to locate it off the utility room and not in the hallway, his argument being that if someone left the toilet door open then others would see him or her on the toilet. Despite the fact that the whole purpose of a door is to shut it, that was where he wanted the toilet and he would not budge from his position. For three months we had to argue with the builder every day and he simply walked away, shaking his head, and would not comply with our request. When it almost came to blows he finally gave in and installed the toilet where we had asked for it. He informed us that if we ever changed our minds about where the toilet should be, he was not going to move it!”

2 Responses to “Applications for building permission in Bulgaria”

  1. excellent information site. I shall tweet this and put a link on my blog roll

  2. I am liking this blog accept I’m having issues with making the RSS feed to show up in the new Google Chrome. Can anyone give me a suggestion? Thank you!

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