The Ministry of Development and Urban Planning has issued a statement saying that by the time Croatia joins EU
, the planning system in Croatia
will be using 'e-permits'. This is expected to rapidly speed up the process of issuing location and building permits, and will allow the applicants an update into the status of their application at any time during the process.
Assistant Minister of Planning Danijel Meštrić said that with the implementation of this system, the separate approvals of main projects, decisions on construction, and location permits will no longer be necessary. Location permits will only be required for projects of interest to the Republic of Croatia.
The success of this project can be seen in the 'E-building permit' application, functioning in the Varaždin County for a year now: the building permit process is done electronically, and the time needed to obtain a permit went from the average 317 days to only a few days. Furthermore, this new mechanism is expected to put an end to corruption in the planning offices because the Supervisory Office of the Ministry of Construction and Planning will be able to see who is doing what.
Whilst it remains to be seen if it will work on a larger scale it does show there is progress in construction industry and if implemented will not only simplify and accelerate the building permit procedure for investors and planning officers but it will also offer greater security to all parties involved. The lengthy delays some investors have experienced during the planning process in Croatia
has been the cause of much debate and frustration. There have been numerous complaints to local, county and central offices regarding the beuarcracy and lack of transparency in some cases. Whilst it will not ‘cure’ the current Croatian real estate market
malaise, which is largely due to external economic factors, it will decrease the time it takes for developers to bring product to market. Therefore it should help to increase investor’s returns all other things considered.