Slovakia: new Construction Act


Construction laws could be changed if proposed new legislation is passed by the Slovak parliament.

The new draft Construction Act has only just begun its journey through the legislative process and may undergo substantial change along the way. Significant changes are proposed to use permit proceedings as well as to zoning and planning procedures, which we will report on in detail once they are finalised.

The bill follows current legislation in dealing with zoning, planning, building and use permits, functions, powers and duties of the building offices and administrative sanctions for breach.

The bill proposes creating several categories of building or other structure according to their complexity and size, each with different building permit proceedings. In addition, structures not requiring a permit (only notification to the building office) are defined in greater detail than under current legislation.

Some structures will require standard permit proceedings but more stringent requirements will apply to others, such as:

  • structures more than 30 m high
  • structures other than residential buildings with a floor area above 1600 m2
  • shopping premises with floor area above 2000 m2
  • garages with useful area over 1000 m2.

It is also proposed to follow UK and Germany in having construction auditors to speed up the process of issuing building permits. Where a structure has no material impact on the environment or neighbourhood, the construction auditor can issue a certificate which allows the building office to issue a building permit without the need for there to have been any administrative proceedings.

The bill requires project documentation regarding mechanical resistance and stability for structures subject to the stricter regime to be verified by another independent expert and for the independent expert to be invited to inspect the construction site and structures under construction.

The bill also proposes to introduce a preliminary building permit. This could be issued by the administrative body before a building was completed to allow the builder to carry out preparatory or other construction work necessary for the development which is not disputed by the parties to the proceeding or by the authorities. The preliminary building permit would no be issued where it would frustrate or materially impede approval of the structure, or it is not possible to verify from the submitted project documentation that the builder has complied with the development conditions specified in the zoning plan for the relevant area or the planning decision.

The bill also proposes tighter regulations dealing with the removal of structures erected without a permit. The building offices will be given additional powers:

  • to prohibit contractors from entering the construction site,
  • to ask trade licence offices to withdraw a contractor’s business license,
  • to put up a sign at the construction site indicating that non-permitted development has been suspended,
  • to ask the water, sewage, electricity, gas etc. suppliers to stop their deliveries.