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Preliminary construction request: planning security for little money
Preliminary construction request: planning security for little money
Video: Preliminary construction request: planning security for little money

With a preliminary building inquiry you can clarify before the building application, whether the project can be approved in principle and is compatible with the building law. Here we explain who makes the request and what it should contain.

Table of contents Table of contents Pre-construction request: A lot of planning security for little money

  • When does a preliminary building inquiry make sense?
  • How to make a preliminary building request
  • What does a pre-construction request look like and what should it contain?
  • Documents for a preliminary building inquiry
  • Differences to the building application
  • Cost of the building application
  • What happens after the pre-construction request?

Table of contents Table of contents Pre-construction request: A lot of planning security for little money

  • When does a preliminary building inquiry make sense?
  • How to make a preliminary building request
  • What does a pre-construction request look like and what should it contain?
  • Documents for a preliminary building inquiry
  • Differences to the building application
  • Cost of the building application
  • What happens after the pre-construction request?

The pre-construction request is a good way to find out whether the development of the desired property is permitted. Although it is not absolutely necessary, the pre-construction request can make sense in certain cases. The decision-maker is the responsible building authority, which checks whether your project is compatible with public building law and can be realized. A preliminary building inquiry can be made without outside help, but due to his specialist knowledge in the area of ​​planning and building regulations law as well as the assessment of the buildability of a property, it makes sense to seek the advice of an architect.

When does a preliminary building inquiry make sense?

If the property is in an area for which there is no development plan, a preliminary building request is usually recommended. This applies to almost all areas that were partially built on before the Federal Building Act came into force in 1960. Another important criterion is whether the plot of land to be built is in the so-called outside area - this is how all areas outside a coherent development are called. A specifically designed preliminary building inquiry creates the best conditions for a final building permit, because all approved partial aspects are legally valid.

If you own an undeveloped property without an existing development plan and are considering selling it, a preliminary building request can increase the price. This is how a legal authorization for partial aspects of a construction project is created for potential buyers. If you want to buy a property yourself, a preliminary building inquiry can clarify which development options are available to you. The property price can then be negotiated on the basis of this information.

How to make a preliminary building request

A preliminary building request is always submitted in writing to the responsible building regulations office or the building inspectorate. You don't have to be an architect or a construction planner. All that is required is a purchase interest and thus a power of attorney from the property owner. Some authorities provide a corresponding form that facilitates the “application for preliminary decision”.

You can make the preliminary building inquiry both informally and formally. In the case of an informal application, usually only a site plan and sketches of a construction project are submitted. However, please note that answering an informal request has no legally binding effect. If, on the other hand, you make a formal application, the detailed templates are binding. But how extensive this binding effect depends on the respective federal state. The preliminary building request is usually recognized as a bound administrative decision. However, in some federal states the request is only seen as an "assurance", which means that the authorities reserve the right to remove the binding effect of the building permit in certain cases.

Once you have submitted your documents, the authority may request additional documents. You will only receive an answer once everything has been checked carefully. Be patient - a processing time of up to three months can be expected.


Before the construction site comes: A preliminary building inquiry is always advisable if there is no development plan for a plot of land.

Photo: istock / schulzie

What does a pre-construction request look like and what should it contain?

A preliminary building inquiry usually consists of a questionnaire and other documents, which are, however, less extensive than in the case of a building application. The questions must be answered with “yes” or “no”. Since there are no precise requirements regarding the questions, an architect or construction planner can help with the elaboration.

Below are a few sample questions to help you get a rough idea. Make sure that questions that are too general, such as: "Is the construction project eligible for approval?" Are not sufficient.

Sample questions for the preliminary building inquiry

  • The following use is envisaged for the project: (…) (see also company description). Is the project permissible with regard to the type of use as (…) according to § 34 BauGB planning law?
  • Is the project permissible in terms of the degree of use with a base area of ​​(…) and a ridge height of (…) under planning law?
  • The project exceeds the southern construction limit by (…) m. Can the prospect of exemption for the construction project due to the fact that the building boundary has been exceeded by (…) by (…) m? From a planning point of view, the exceeding is necessary because (…).
  • Can a permit for the felling of trees protected under the Tree Protection Ordinance No. (…) according to the tree population plan be promised? Removal of the trees is necessary because (…). Substitute plantings can be made elsewhere on the property.

Documents for a preliminary building inquiry

The scope of the documents for a preliminary building inquiry is defined in the respective building template ordinance (BauVorlVO) of the federal state. It can contain the following documents:

  • Application form of the respective federal state (if it is offered and requested by the building authority) in one-time execution
  • Extract from the official land map
  • Detailed catalog of questions
  • Building description: informal description of the intended construction
  • Description of use (for commercial facilities such as shops or restaurants)
  • Architectural drawings:

    • Site plan and floor plan: Please present all the floor plans affected by the construction measure and all other floor plans relevant for the assessment of the overall project with the intended use of the rooms and draw them on the site plan of the property.
    • Cuts and views: Show all cuts that are necessary to evaluate the project. This also includes longitudinal sections and sections from which the connection, the foundation and, if necessary, the boundary of neighboring buildings can be seen.
    • Drawings for drainage and water supply
    • The drawings must be to scale. A low level of detail is sufficient.
  • Photos of the building plot
  • Copy of the commercial / association register extract (if you represent a legal person or partnership)
  • Power of attorney : The building owner can authorize another person to take actions relating to the building application.
  • Copy of construction loads: Find out in advance whether there is a construction load on your property. If this is the case, please enclose an extract from the list of construction loads.
  • Extract from the property record: Contains the designation of the building plot and the neighboring properties in the land register and property register.
  • Application for exemptions / exemptions (§ 31 BauGB) and / or deviations (§ 63 HBO) BAB10: If your construction project does not comply with public law regulations such as the required clearance or planning law and you ask questions on these topics as part of the pre-construction request, the corresponding applications for exemption, exception or deviation must be attached to the preliminary building request.
  • Calculation of the gross space : When calculating the gross space for the different uses are to be listed separately.

Tip: Sign all submitted documents and plans with location, date and signature.

Differences to the building application

A preliminary building inquiry only includes partial aspects of a future building project, while the building permit confirms that the project described in the building application fulfills all legal regulations and can be implemented. However, both applications are only valid for a limited time. In some cases, the preliminary building inquiry can already be understood as an approach for a building permit. However, the complete building project is only legally valid once the complete building permit has been received in response to the building application.

Cost of the building application

The costs for a preliminary building inquiry, also called a preliminary building application, always depend on the scope of the questions and the total processing effort for the respective building authority. The cost of an informal request for a simple family home is usually between 50 and 200 euros. A preliminary building permit for large construction projects, for which a formal request with extensive planning documents is usually made, can cost up to 5000 euros. If an architect helps you with the creation, his architect's fee (according to HOAI, the so-called fee regulation for architects and engineers) must also be taken into account - whereby some architects also offer this service as a free service, provided that they are also commissioned with the subsequent planning of the construction measure were. As a rule of thumb for a formal request, you can calculate a total cost of 0.1 to 0.2 percent of the construction sum. In view of the planning costs and approval fees for a building application, which may still be rejected, a preliminary building request is a sensible investment, at least for critical or expensive projects, despite the costs involved.

What happens after the pre-construction request?

If you receive positive feedback, it does not mean that you can put your plan into practice. First, the building application must be submitted. Only when this has been successfully approved can you start. However, do not let too much time pass because the preliminary building inquiry is usually valid for around three years (depending on the building regulations of the federal states). If this time is not enough, you can apply for an extension of validity. In Bavaria, for example, an extension of up to two years is possible.

If the preliminary building application is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice. You then have the option to file an objection - but this is associated with additional costs.

Lea Straub editors

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