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Planning permission, Architectc etc

Planning permission, Architectc etc

Old Mar 21st 2016, 11:36 pm
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Question Planning permission, Architectc etc

Hi all again. Hope this winter has been kind to all of you in Hungary.

We are coming over in two weeks and want to move on with house renovations.
We had an English speaking builder who did a lot of internal work converting a stone built stables (including upgrading electricity supply) last year. He was supposed to be sorting out all the planning permissions etc needed to start work converting the adjoining animal pens, which do not appear to be marked on the plot outline. Unfortunately he has disapeared and we are unable to contact him anymore. All we have from him are some very basic plans drawn up by an architect who only speaks Hungarian. So basically we will have to start the whole process on our own.

Any advice and information on the following would be really appreciated
My Hungarian is very limited at the moment.

1. As Peter previously suggested we will get hold of the tulajdoni lap (land registration document from the Land Office) in Marcali as soon as possible.

2. We will talk to the mayor in Mesztegnyo about local regulations etc and our plans. Are there any specific things we should ask him about ?

3. Does anyone know of an English speaking architect ? ideally in the Marcali area but distance is not really a problem. We will need to take our existing plans to him and get further guidance.

4. Who submits the plans and to where for the planning permission ?

5. Who draws up a new gas plan ?

6. Who appoints the 'responsible person' to check the work is done properly ?

I know it there are a lot of questions but any help or advice would be great. As well as pointing out any things that I am stupidly missing.

If I can get the planning permission sorted out this summer that would be great. Then I can negotiate the problem of Hungarian builders later on with a view to starting work this time next year when we move in permanently.

Many thanks in advance
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Old Mar 22nd 2016, 12:41 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Originally Posted by Stegy
3. Does anyone know of an English speaking architect ? ideally in the Marcali area but distance is not really a problem. We will need to take our existing plans to him and get further guidance.
I know a structural engineer who speaks good English should you need one
(My tame English speaking architect is on maternity leave)

Originally Posted by Stegy
4. Who submits the plans and to where for the planning permission ?
The architect will usually take care of this.

Originally Posted by Stegy
5. Who draws up a new gas plan ?
When we had gas installed the gas fitter /heating engineer sorted all this out.

Originally Posted by Stegy
6. Who appoints the 'responsible person' to check the work is done properly ?
The builder will/should have a 'responsible person' with whom he usually works - it's much easier to let the builder use his normal chap.
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Old Mar 22nd 2016, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Thanks Peter thats a great help on all questions.
Do you think the structural engineer would be able to do the same as the architect in terms of submitting plans etc
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Old Mar 22nd 2016, 6:33 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

I'm afraid that the structural engineer can't do architect plans, (the structural engineer (son in law) got the architect (daughter in law) to do the plans for his fathers building).

What he can do is structural surveys and load calculations and design for timber, steel and reinforced concrete for buildings and other structures
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Old Mar 22nd 2016, 7:00 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Thank you again for the further info. Can I get back to you tomorrow .
we are 4 hours ahead of Hungary time and have an early start tomorrow

best regards
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Old Mar 22nd 2016, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

I dont think we really need a structural engineer as the extension is very straight forward and I thought a competent builder would know what was required I have tried attaching two pdf files showing what the previous builder sent me from his architect but they dont seem to load.

Anyway it looks like I will need to get hold of a translator over the summer and go with a Hungarian speaking architect. I will be over until the beginning of September so I sure I will be able to sort this out by then.
My own Hungarian will hopefully have improved a good deal by then as well, though I know that will be a long process.

Thanks for your help and if anyone else has any thought or comments please chime in.
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Old Mar 23rd 2016, 5:00 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

I think you are over-thinking this.
This is after all Hungary.

I was given the full set of original plans when I bought my house, the main outside walls appear to be pretty much as per the plans after that the builder started ad-libbing.
I have windows where there should be wall, wall where there should be windows, 2 rooms which are an entirely different shape and size from the plan. The two main bedrooms on the plans extend to the same limit as the room below, the reality is that they stop a metre and a half short and I have a balcony instead.
This also explains why I have a very steep single staircase, when the plans show a longer two stage staircase, since the treads are suspended on metal rods built into the ceiling I suspect they must have been installed when the upper concrete floor was laid.
And the space which is shown as a garage is fitted with a kitchen and a toilet, which must have been done at the time of construction since all the pipework, drains etc are run through the walls, and there is absolutely no evidence of there ever having been a full width garage door.

So what the architect puts in the plans and what the builder puts on the plot may not be quite the same thing.
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Old Mar 23rd 2016, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

duztee is right - it depends upon what you are doing. When I put in a floor into a barn conversion this entailed 1 ton of rebar and 2 lorries of redimix - that needed full plans but generally speaking people don't bother with plans for internal work. For external work, the work that can be done under 'permitted development' to use a UK term have just been relaxed so you can do more without permission. In addition to this some builders will just get on and do the work - depending upon the area, the attitude of the local officials and the visibility to the nearest road. But this approach carries a risk that everything may come to a shuddering halt whilst retrospective permission is sought. Its very very rare that the authorities make you take down a structure that does not have permission - once or twice on the Balaton shores is all I have heard of.
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Old Mar 23rd 2016, 7:19 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Thanks Duztee and Peter you are both so right.

I am over thinking and stressing too much. I am sure the small overall change to the village property we are making will be welcomed be locals and local officialdom alike. With no reason for any retrospective problems as long as I talk and listen to them and slow down to their pace and way of doing things. I have not spent enough time there over the last three years and have got back into my UK mentality which is not healthy and have forgotten that the more rural and particular Hungarian way of doing things that I have experienced over the many months I have stayed there previous;y is something I have missed and now look forward too again.
We are planning being there for many many years so we can take our time. and enjoy the journey

Thank you both for reminding me
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Old Mar 23rd 2016, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Stegy, it is also worth remembering that unlike England there is no housing shortage here, in fact apart from possibly Budapest and Balaton there is a glut of unoccupied older properties.

If these are allowed to decay then the local council is responsible for finding the owner and issuing a notice to clear and clean the plot, which is hassle they would prefer not to have. Therefore they are usually sympathetic and helpful to anyone buying and renovating an older property, which might otherwise become a problem to them in the future.

For anyone who is following this thread but not yet made a purchase, it might be well worth approaching the local council if you are considering an older property which is already vacant.
I was informed that should I decide to take on such a project then I could certainly look forward to helpful assistance. I have no idea how official or what form such assistance would take since I decided on a newer house.
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Old Mar 23rd 2016, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Duztee, you're absolutely right re empty houses/plots - it's a real shame how some of these places look!
It's also kind of interesting when you live here and walk by and see them slowly turn into ruins ...
Though sometimes you get a surprise:
There may still be some old people living in a kind of almost ruin - because they can't afford any repairs ...
And even here near Hévíz/Keszthely you see many of these places - in our village (less than 10 km from Hévíz) every fifth house on the main street is unoccupied ...
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Old Mar 24th 2016, 3:47 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Wolfi, Yes in deed, and not only older houses.
I know of 4 new builds which reached roof timber level and then all work stopped and bits and bobs have been disappearing from them ever since.

Re; Older residence not making repairs. It is possibly a case of no descendants (or offspring who already have their own house) therefore no point investing any capital into something which probably will not sell for years, better to let it decay and descendants can bulldoze, to offer a bare plot for sale and to avoid problems with the council.

Of course this housing situation is a big plus to us, offering what seems like a lot of house for a ridiculously small outlay. But it needs a 100% commitment to living here because the chances of recouping your outlay on purchase and modernising, should you wish to sell up and leave are painfully small.
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Old Mar 24th 2016, 4:45 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Yes, it is best to start with something as close as possible to what you want in terms of size and overall layout unless you are convinced you will stay long term. In Hungary it is usually cheaper to buy a big house than buy a small house and make it bigger. There does seem to be some kind of status advantage to having extra floors though. When I was house-hunting I was not specifically looking for a single storey property but I only found one two storey house in my price range. I suppose this suggests that loft conversions might be a good way of adding value when expanding the living accomodation.
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Old Mar 24th 2016, 5:18 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

Duztee, that's another strange phenomenon here which I don't understand ...
4 new builds which reached roof timber level and then all work stopped and bits and bobs have been disappearing from them ever since.
And your last sentence is also very important advice!
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Old Mar 24th 2016, 6:16 am
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Default Re: Planning permission, Architectc etc

In Croatia you can see pretty much every stage of building abandoned and the houses that are completely finished are in the minority. The most common job that is left for later is the exterior rendering but there are also a lot of 2 storey houses where the upstairs is just a bare shell and they all live on the ground floor. In some cases all they have built is the cellar walls and the concrete floor for the ground floor. These look like air raid shelters. In other cases the roof is on but there are no doors or windows so the whole thing is just a shell. Often there is a balcony but rarely with any railings!

My friend Ivan lives with his parents and he showed me round their house one day. The house was designed to have 2 bathrooms but the upstairs one is just an empty room with tiled walls and floor, no bathroom suite.
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