Academic journal article Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

A Comparative Analysis of Building Permits Procedures in Slovenia and Croatia: Development of a Simplification Model

Academic journal article Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

A Comparative Analysis of Building Permits Procedures in Slovenia and Croatia: Development of a Simplification Model

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

The construction industry plays an important role in the economy, and the industry's activities are also vital to the achievement of national socio-economic development goals of providing shelter, infrastructure and employment. It is clear that construction activities affect nearly every aspect of the economy and that the industry is essential to the continued growth of the economy. Surprisingly, the construction industry has been left off the list of major growth drivers of the economy. In order for construction to ably perform this role, there is a need to provide information on its economic value, and its place in the overall economy of a country needs to be placed in perspective if its function is to be fully understood (Oladinrin et al. 2012).

The construction sector is mostly influenced by building regulations and public investment in terms of cyclical stabilization of macro-economic trends. Furthermore, it is affected to a large extent by other legislation; like protection of the environment, energy efficiency, safety at work, social security, VAT, liability regimes, public procurement, and so forth. The competitiveness of the construction sector depends on the commitment of the market operators towards a better quality policy, sustainability development objectives, research and innovation activities and improved skills and qualifications of its workforce and management (EU 2015). Fact is, that the construction sector productivity and witness steady growth is convenient compared to a number of other sectors. Even in the time of current economic downturn it performed better than the overall economy average. In the UK for example, construction sector employs for about 7.5 per cent of all employment, making it the second largest sector of UK employment (Misago 2008).

Building regulations set minimum requirements for safe, healthy, energy-efficient and accessible buildings. To guarantee that these requirements are met, a building control system is imperative. The trend towards a common market for construction products and services justifies gaining a better insight into the building control systems of EU counties. According to Pedro et al. (2011), the way the regular building permit procedure is organized is similar in EU countries, while no major differences were found concerning the various steps of the procedure.

Our paper addresses the building permit procedures in two EU countries, Slovenia and Croatia. These two countries were chosen because of their similar administrative history and procedure, resulting from their membership in the former common state and the common administrative clime. Another common point of these countries is their geographical proximity and membership in the EU. From this perspective, the article analyses on one hand the differences and similarities and on the other the advantages and disadvantages in the area of obtaining building permits. Based on the findings, the paper reveals a generic model of obtaining building permits which summarizes the common characteristics of the procedures in both countries. In addition, the paper identifies the main problems of the building permit procedures and provides guidelines for renewing and complementing the current process for obtaining building permits, while simultaneously contributing to the simplification and greater transparency of the process itself as well as the enhanced efficiency of the institutions involved.

The paper focuses primarily on the following research objectives:

* to review and describe the procedures for issuing a building permit in Slovenia and Croatia;

* to identify the main shortcomings and obstacles in the issuance of building permits in the selected countries; and

* to present the model refurbishment of the existing building permit procedures in the countries.

In terms of methodology, the research survey is based on interviews with experts from Slovenia and Croatia. …

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