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Tallinn speeds up building permit issuance time

Tallinn speeds up building permit issuance time

In the last three years, the time taken to process building permits in Tallinn has halved, thanks to changes in current practices.

Deputy Mayor Madle Lippus highlighted the significant improvements in the processing times for building and use permits. "The Urban Planning Department's work organization has evolved, including structural changes, making workflows more efficient. The average processing time for issued building permits has decreased from 154 days to 73 days over three years, and the average for the second half of this year is currently at 63 days. Additionally, this year, we have issued more permits than last year – we have already reached last year's total in 11 months. If we compare with December 2022, we hope to issue over a hundred more building permits this month," explained Lippus.

To expedite building permit issuance, the city is focusing more on the quality of submitted applications and projects. Right at the beginning of the process, the need for involving network operators is clarified, and significant changes have been made to internal work organization and processes. Continuous improvements in services indicate further progress in the future.

Changes have also been implemented in the planning process to make it quicker, and work in this area continues. For instance, applicants proposing to initiate detailed planning are being informed about the possibility of going through the entire process via a request for design specifications, which is simpler and faster for the applicant than a detailed plan. This shift leads to a decrease in detailed planning proposals and an increase in requests for design specifications.

Despite the process changes and increased workload resulting from the 2022 amendments to the Building Code, which have extended the processing times for design specifications, 146 design specifications have been issued in the past 11 months, compared to 124 last year.

"One major challenge we are currently facing is working with the building register to ensure that their system effectively facilitates our operations. There are systemic glitches, such as in basic notifications, but if we can overcome these, it's likely that we will meet the deadlines set in the law for processing within the next year," added Lippus.