±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Planning Permission

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Bulgaria.

Reply to topicReply to topic
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts
Planning Permission

Post Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:10 pm

response from an architect when asked why the fee for plans for the land was likely to be the same as the plans for the house (which is not being extended):

1.Geodesy and vertical planing - this is a digital picture of the relief of the terrain and the house on it, and a plan how the land have to be modeled to make the rain (and other) water to go away from the body of the house. I could not begin the architectural
project without geodesy picture

2.Geology and hydrological study - this is a study for the structure of the land - soundings; it is needed for the construction plans, to calculate the loads of the house and to ensure the house for earthquakes. The new norms for this are completely different of these in 1967. [when the houe was built]

3. Project for security of work - this is a formal project, but the municipality want it; this is a plan how the machines during the building process have to work

4. Fire protection and safety project - this project is again a little formal but they (the municipality) want it

5. Garden design - a plan for the garden and the types of plants you will plant. You are not obliged to realize this project, but the municipality wants it (again).

6. Report of correspondence of energy efficiency project - again a formal project - this is a report made from licensed firm, making a valuation of the project for "Energy efficiency (Heating and ventilation)" - this project is a part of the main projects based on sq.m.

I recognise that this could simply be an architect making work but if it is representative of what is now required (as opposed to what is actually done) in Bulgaria today then they can close up shop now. The fees proposed for a simple renovation are more than half the cost of the property which from my inspection looks very sound and dry. The really scary thing is when the authorities decide they need plans like this for properties which are complete but do not have proper planning permission. My guess is this would apply to most of the properties built and renovated since 2007.

I will be checking out the requirements and if they prove correct I'll be looking for another country in which to live.


Re: Planning Permission

Post Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:10 pm

Thanks for the heads-up Eddie.
It does sound like the architect is trying it on with the 'rich' foreigner. Well we can hope he's just trying it on.


Re: Planning Permission

Post Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:30 pm

Disappointingly, it appears she is not. Her explanation of her fees is hampered by her ability to write in English (which I add in passing, is significantly better than my ability to wite any form of Bulgarian) rather than my initial interpretation of an attempt to make work. The work is being made, as usual, by Brussels bureaucrats. As part of the Accession Treaty in 2007 Bulgaria introduced new laws on planning and property regulation. One effect of these is to require every property in the land to have a "Property Passport". There is ample information about it in English on the government property website and it applies to all apartments by the end of 2014 and houses two years later.

Any property owner who ignores it will cost themselves money and any who have made alterations to their property without the necessary permission are in for trouble. The legislation even allows the municipality to instruct repairs which owners fail to complete by deadlines set by the municipality and then attach the cost to the property by way of a "mortgage". One particularly nasty section relates to properties which have been split. There are minimum areas and minimum street frontages dictated for all properties and a requirement to advise the registration authorities of splits. Any unsuspecting proprietor who has bought a property built on a piece of split land may discover the property does not have the necessary permission to exist and the owner - that is the registered owner of the land is the person who will be told so the new owner of the portion sold off illegally may not even be made aware his property is at risk.

I forecast troubled times ahead in the Bulgarian property market and thank my lucky stars I found an agent who, unwittingly, alerted me before I invested.


Re: Planning Permission

Post Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:44 pm

Could you put the link up for the regulations please, the property passport link. I can't find it.


Re: Planning Permission

Post Posted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:31 pm

There are links to sites you may find useful:

www.cadastre.bg/en/laws for information on Spatial [Town and Country] Planning

and for any Bulgarian laws www.lex.bg

specifically the Spatial Planning legislation:


I'll be very interested to hear whether you interpret these laws differently to me as the Bulgarian versions have been translated using Google Translator which makes the English version clumsy at times.


Re: Planning Permission

Post Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:12 pm

I would be very wary about putting too much emphasis on these rules. In the last 8 years or so that I have been involved in the Bulgarian property market I hate to think of how many stupid rules were apparently going to come in and panicked certain agents. Any in any case every property has a notary deed and an official plan, is on the cadastral register etc. What exactly does the property passport cover???????

You have always (well maybe not always but certainly for a long time) needed planning to do any major changes to a property. Exactly what planning you need is determined by the local council. Architects have always been expensive and charge by the square meterage. The amount of plans and paperwork involved for even the most simplest of projects is mind boggling, then it goes to the local council and the architect there, then to higher up for a stamp. then back, then to an inspector, then back.........

In the last year or so councils have become more strict on what you need permission for, much more inline with the rest of the EU.


Advice on buying and living in Bulgaria, all about life here and daily adventures - www.thetravelbug.org

Bulgarian stray dog charity - twitchynoses.org


Forum Leader - France and Bulgaria
Forum Leader - France and Bulgaria
Page 1 of 1

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

Bupa Global is one of the world’s largest international health insurers. We offer direct access to over 1.3m medical providers worldwide, and we settle directly with most so you don’t have to pay up front for your treatment. We provide access to leading specialists without the need to see your family doctor first and ensure that you have the same level of cover wherever you might be, home or away.

Cigna Global

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.