THE ENDLESS bureaucracy that requires the public and property developers to chase around various departments to secure necessary planning and building permits may soon come to an end if the recommendations of Austrian experts are adopted. As we reported last November the Interior Ministry began the task of reforming the planning system. The Ministry has been working with experts from the Austrian Finance Ministry to develop proposals and recommendations based on best international practices to rationalise Planning and Building Permits, Certificates of Approval, the enforcement of building control, the issuance of Title Deeds; they also looked at the oversight of projects.
The Phileleftheros has reported that one of the proposals put forward is the creation of a single ‘service centre’ (one-stop-shop) that will issue a single permit. According to a source “The proposed central authority will be issuing ‘two in one’ permits in a bid to get rid of unnecessary red tape and minimise the number of departments dealing with permits.” Currently checks by the relevant departments are largely absent and it is expected that these will help reduce the overall cost of correction of ‘errors’ from an estimated 10%-15% of total construction costs to 3%-5% as in other countries where tighter building controls are applied. The ultimate goal of the Ministry of Interior is to create modern legal framework for development licensing, significant strengthening of building control and reducing delays.