Construction, demolition or site improvement may require a permit or notification. A notification or permit application is made with the local building committee in the municipality where the measure is to be carried out.
A notification or an application for a permit must be in writing and contain the information, drawings and other documents necessary for the application or notification to be handled and in order for decisions to be made. A measure that requires a permit or notification may not begin until the local building committee has issued a starting clearance.
Construction, demolition and site improvements
Construction, demolition and site improvements can be divided into three categories:
- measures that require building permits, demolition permits or site improvement permits
- measures that require notification
- measures that do not require either permits or notifications.
Building permits are normally required for new construction, extensions and certain other alterations to a building.
New construction means that a new building is built or that a previously built building is moved to a new location. Extension means that a building is changed so that there is an increase in the building's volume. This applies regardless of what direction the volume increase takes place in. This means that a volume increase upwards, to one side or downwards are counted as extensions.
Some other alterations to a building that normally require a building permit are that a building, in part or in whole, is used or furnished for a significantly different purpose than the earlier purpose of the building, or that an existing building is changed so that it is furnished with an additional residential unit or additional premises for trade, work or industry.
Within the detailed development plan or area regulations, a building permit may be required for changing a building's outer appearance. Changing a building's outer appearance is also known as façade modification. This concept includes several different measures, such as changing colour, façade siding or roof covering materials. Building permits may also be required to make other external alterations to a building if these mean that the building's external appearance is affected significantly.
Within the detailed development plan or area regulations, building permits may also be required to set up, move or significantly alter signs or light source facilities.
A building permit may also be required to arrange, install, build, move or significantly alter certain other facilities that are not buildings. These facilities are listed separately in the Planning and Building Ordinance, and include for example:
- storage yards and supply yards
- tunnels and rock shelters not intended for roads, railways, metro, tram or mining
- fixed cisterns or other fixed facilities for chemical products that are hazardous to health and environment and for products that may cause fire or other accidents
- radio or telecom masts or towers
- wind turbines and their towers
- walls and palings
- outdoor parking spaces
- transformer stations.
Measures exempt from building permits
Some measures that normally require building permits are exempt from building permits, if they concern single-family homes or two-dwelling houses and meet certain conditions for example regarding measurements and placement. Some of the measures that are exempt from building permits for single or two-dwelling houses require notification with the local building committee.
Temporary building permit
The local building committee may decide on temporary building permits for measures intended to last for a limited time.
In order to demolish buildings or parts of buildings in areas with a detailed development plan or area regulations, a demolition permit may be required. If a demolition permit is not required, notification may be required instead. Some buildings do not require either a demolition permit or a notification.
Site improvement permits
Excavation or filling that changes the height of a ground surface may require a site improvement permit in areas with a detailed development plan or area regulations. Site improvement permits may also be required for cutting trees and planting forests.
A measure that does not require a permit may instead require notification. Examples of such measures are alterations to a building's design or layout or installation of or change to a technical installation in a building.
Anyone planning a measure subject to building permit may apply for a preliminary decision, advance notice, before the building permit application is made. An advance notice states if a certain measure can be permitted in a certain location or not. The advance notice is a way to find out early if it is at all possible to build at the particular location before moving on and applying for a building permit.
Another option for anyone planning a measure subject to building permit can be to request a conditional approval. Such an approval is not binding. A conditional approval presents the local building committee's assessment of what conditions the measure must fulfil to meet the design requirements in the Planning and Building Act. The design requirements in the Planning and Building Act mean that a building must:
- be suitable for its purpose
- have a good effect of design, colour and material
- be accessible to and usable for individuals with limited mobility or orientation capacity.
Changed permit requirement in detailed development plan and area regulations
Detailed development plans and area regulations can sometimes contain regulations that reduce or increase the general permit obligation.
Measures may not conflict with permits, detailed development plan or area regulations
Measures related to construction works, plots or public spaces must not conflict with the detailed development plan or the area regulations that apply to the measures or to the permit issued for the measures. Some of the measures exempt from building permit may, however, be implemented in conflict with the detailed development plan or area regulations.
Application and notification
A notification or an application for a building permit, demolition permit, site improvement permit, advance notice or conditional approval is made with the local building committee in the municipality where the measure is to be carried out. An application or a notification must be in writing and contain the information, drawings and other documents necessary for the application or notification to be handled and in order for decisions to be made. A measure that requires a building permit, site improvement permit, demolition permit or notification may not begin until the local building committee has issued a starting clearance.
Information and notification obligation
In the handling of permits and advance notices, the local building committee must in some matters provide information and notifications to the applicant and the property owner or to the local environmental committee. In some cases, the building committee must also notify known stakeholders and organisations affected by the application and give them an opportunity to make a statement.
Matters regarding permits, advance notice and notification shall be handled promptly. The Planning and Building Act contains regulations on time limits for the processing of matters regarding permits and advance notice. The Planning and Building Ordinance contains regulations on time limits for the processing of notification matters. There is also a possibility for the building committee under certain circumstances to decide on deferral for decisions regarding permits or advance notice.
Review of permits and advance notice and assessment of the application
The handling of permits and advance notices includes reviewing if the measure meets the requirements set in the planning and building legislation. These requirements must be met for the committee to grant the permit application or issue the advance notice. Different reviews are done depending on the character of the measure and if it will be carried out within or outside an area with a detailed development plan.
After a permit has been granted, or the notification has been received, the building committee must issue a starting clearance before the measure may begin. To obtain a starting clearance, the developer must show that the measure can be assumed to meet the requirements in the planning and building legislation. In order for the building committee to decide if the matter can be assumed to meet the requirements, the developer must, among other things, submit a proposal on an inspection plan and the technical documents that are needed for the assessment in addition to the application documents. The inspection plan must state what inspections are to be done, what they are to pertain to and who is to conduct the inspections.
The Planning and Building Act contains regulations on what a decision on an advance notice, building permit, demolition permit or site improvement permit shall contain and what period of validity these decisions have. Advance notice and decisions on permits may also be issued with conditions. The conditions must, however, have support in the Planning and Building Act or its regulations.
Dispatch and announcement
Once a decision on an advance notice or permit has been made, it will be dispatched and announced. A decision on an advance notice or permit only comes into force if the building committee has properly dispatched and announced it. A decision on a permit or advance notice must be provided to certain persons while others must receive a notice that a decision has been made. A decision to issue a permit or a positive advance notice must be announced in Post- och Inrikes Tidningar (Swedish official gazette).
Fees and forms
The building committee may charge fees for, among other things, decisions on permits, advance notice, conditional approval and starting clearance. The local building committee in the municipality where the measure is to be implemented can provide information about the fees applicable in the municipality. The building committee also provides forms that can be used to apply for permits or submit a notification.
Decisions on advance notice, permits or starting clearance may be appealed.. The appeal shall be sent to the local building committee, which decides if a reconsideration should be done and if the appeal has been received in due time. Then, the committee forwards the appeal and the documents in the matter to the county administrative board, which reviews the appeal. The county administrative board can then choose to change the building committee's decision or to reject the appeal.
Inspection is a review that takes place after the construction works has been taken into use and the aim is to identify any faults or errors that are to be corrected. The supervisory authority under the planning and building legislation is primarily the local building committee. The building committee is obliged to take up the issue of intervention and sanctions as soon as there is reason to assume that somebody has not complied with a regulation, a ruling or another decision.
The building committee shall charge a construction sanction fee for certain violations of the planning and building legislation, such as a measure requiring a permit or registration beginning without a starting clearance. The building committee can also decide on various kinds of injunctions to achieve correction or an implementation of a certain measure. The building committee can also decide on a prohibition against continued work, measures or use.
If an injunction or prohibition is not complied with, the building committee can use various means of enforcement, such as contingent fines or judicial assistance to ensure compliance to the injunction or prohibition.
To carry out its supervisory work, the building committee has the right to gain access to properties and construction works and to implement the measures necessary for its work on the site. The building committee also has the right to receive the information and documents needed to be able to perform its supervisory work from the developer.