Building a house on a “green field”

After a long search you have found a plot of land on which you want to build a family house or a cottage. Know that the worst is yet to come. What does building a greenfield house entail and what permits and stamps do you need to obtain?

pohled na rozestavěnou konstrukci domu
7 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

Proceedings under the Building Act

Dealing with all the permits and consents can be a nightmare. Although the Building Act has simplified the building process in some cases, prepare your nerves.

The building procedure has certain stages. The basic ones are the zoning procedure and the building procedure. This is followed by the approval of the building, which takes place after completion. This is a kind of permission to use it.

The purpose of the planning procedure is to permit the building in relation to its surroundings, to place it in a certain area, to assess whether it fits in. In the case of larger buildings, a zoning decision is needed, which is issued in an administrative procedure, or a zoning consent. This is a kind of simplified regime only for buildings with certain parameters. We discuss the zoning procedure more in our article on the conversion of agricultural land into more valuable building land.

Tip: Have you bought the land you plan to build on? The key is to check whether the land is designated for building. And if it is not, because it falls within the agricultural fund, you will first have to be removed from the fund. We can advise you on how to do this.

Construction proceedings

If you decide to build a house or other building on a suitable plot of land, the first thing to do is to check the Building Act to see if you can do so without notifying the building authority. It is best to ask the relevant building authority beforehand if any permission will be needed for the building project. At that point, there is no need to invest in an expensive project, but the basic parameters of the intended construction must already be clear.

The law, whose interpretation can sometimes be controversial or does not define the boundaries precisely, may be interpreted differently by officials of different building authorities. In practice, it may happen that in the north of the country a particular building may be allowed to be built on the basis of a planning consent and in the south of the country, for example, it may be possible to build it without any action against the authorities. The building procedure is in the hands of the municipal building authority in whose district the building will stand. This is usually the municipal authority of the municipality with extended jurisdiction in the given location. However, in the case of certain special types of buildings, the so-called special building authorities are responsible for conducting the building procedure . For example, road administrative authorities, which authorise road construction, water authorities, which authorise water works, etc.

The technical parameters of the building are then examined in the building permit procedure. It is assessed whether the building complies with all the technical standards of today. Even at this stage, a simplified procedure, i.e. notification of the building, can be used in certain cases.

If you want to build, the office will tell you what you need to do to make your plan a reality. For example, a building with up to 25 m2 of built-up area and up to 5 m in height with one storey above ground, with a basement up to a maximum depth of 3 m on the plot of a family house or a building for family recreation does not require planning permission or consent. However, this does not mean that it does not require any decision in the building procedure. Therefore, it is necessary to find out everything in advance from another provision of the Building Act, where we can read that building permits and building notifications are not required for, among other things, buildings with the same parameters, but without a basement. Therefore, if someone wants to build a garden house or a shed without formalities, they must comply with these parameters.

The last amendment to the Building Act made it possible to build a building for housing and family recreation with one underground floor up to a depth of three metres and a maximum of two floors and an attic, only on the basis of a notification to the building authority and without any limitation on size.

The amendment also introduced the possibility of using the merger of two or even three otherwise separate permitting processes into one so-called joint procedure, culminating in the issuance of a joint permit. Thus, a builder can use, for example, a joint planning and building procedure on the basis of a single application.

However, despite these simplifications, some people prefer to buy an old house and reconstruct it. The form of new buildings is bound by more and more standards governing technical requirements than was previously the case. The purchase of an older house can also be advantageous because some municipalities set by decree the maximum buildability of land, which is not addressed in the case of already constructed buildings. It specifies the percentage of land that must remain undeveloped.

Contract for work

We will draw up a contract for the work or check the existing one. This way you can be sure that the delivery of the work will be legally sound and free from ambiguity. We will resolve the matter quickly, no matter where you are from in the country. You can pay after the service has been provided.

Hint: We are expecting quite fundamental changes in the construction procedure next year, when the new Building Act will come into force. From then on, you have to follow it. The only exception will be the so-called Reserved Structures, which come into force on 1 January 2024.

For example, Mr Michal wanted to build a house on the other half of the land belonging to his father. He was to give it to him free of charge. He therefore obtained a building permit and actually built the house after a long time and with the investment of all his financial resources and strength. However, when the land was to be subdivided, he was told by the building authority that they would not grant consent for the subdivision because the two buildings on the land would not meet the maximum buildability parameters of the Ordinance. There was no other way to divide the land. So the new house, as well as the whole plot, also belonged to Michal’s father. Fortunately, we managed to negotiate an exception with the municipality. However, if some unexpected event were to occur, for example, if the father were to die, the entire plot of land, including both houses, would pass to the inheritance proceedings. The heirs, including Michael, would all get a share of the entire property, including both buildings.

A more difficult building process will have to be completed if you want to build in a conservation area, national park (NP) or protected landscape area (PNA). In order to obtain a building permit, a number of so-called binding opinions from other authorities are generally required, to which in these cases will be added other necessary opinions from the National Monuments Office or the Administration of the NP and PNA. In other words, if these authorities concerned do not give their consent in the form of a binding opinion, you will not get a building permit. However, this may be a good thing. A big house with a huge fence really has no place in a protected area.

We prepared this article for the Lidové noviny series “Law & Housing”. See also other articles from the series:

  1. What to watch out for when buying a property
  2. How to get a mortgage
  3. What to check before buying a property
  4. Who pays the property transfer tax and how?
  5. What should be included in the property purchase contract
  6. The most common mistakes when drafting a proposal to the Land Registry
  7. Buying a property from a developer
  8. Keeping the purchase price when buying a property
  9. The difference between a condominium and a freehold
  10. What is an annuity?
  11. How to properly gift a property
  12. What is the purpose of an easement or servitude?
  13. Making a will and settling an estate
  14. What is a collation
  15. What shouldn’t be missing from a lease agreement
  16. When rent increases can be made
  17. Termination of the lease
  18. Agreement to end the tenancy
  19. How to draw up a work contract with a tradesman
  20. Hidden defects and cancellation of a works contract
  21. When do you need planning permission to renovate a property?
  22. Home Rules
  23. What does serving on a condominium board entail?
  24. Why not underestimate the bylaws in a condominium
  25. Common areas in a block of flats
  26. What is involved in refurbishing a block of flats
  27. Can a condominium or housing association go into debt?
  28. How to renovate a house or cottage
  29. What to watch out for when dealing with a construction “company”?
  30. Building a house on a “green field”
  31. How to remove land from the agricultural fund

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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