Planning/urbanisation/building consent

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The Land Code regulates most aspects of real property, such as property fixtures, formal requirements, mortgages easements leases and registration of rights to real property. Land is divided in units. Each unit is individually identified by name and code. A unit may be demarked both horizontally and vertically. The rights of the owner is not restricted to land but also contains accessories to land such as buildings and other facilities built above and under the land. The ownership also carries with it the right to the soil below and the space airspace above.

It is the up the local municipality (Sweden is divided in 290 local municipalities) to grant building permits and to adopt plans for use of land and water. The zoning plans are carried out in tree levels and are divided in the General Spatial Plan, the Area Plan and the Zoning Scheme; the plans are referred in the Land Register. Only the Zoning Scheme is legally binding. A Zoning Scheme regulates only a limited part of municipality and decides the use the land may be put. It may also regulate such matter as building heights, lot coverage, for example residential, trade, or industrial use, characteristics of the buildings and similar things.

Application for building permits must be sent to the municipality and granted before construction begins. An owner is entitled to a building permit if the development conforms to the plan. If a permit is refused the decision may be appealed. A permit is also necessary for altering, extending or demolishing buildings or for changed use of building or part of a building.

A building may also be declared a cultural heritage building if it is of cultural or historical value. The owner must then follow the specific restrictions for protection and care of the building. On the other hand this status may give right to tax breaks, for example the so called castle rule means that owners of such buildings can for income tax purposes deduct costs such as maintenance and repairs even if the building is a private residence.