Four steps to change the status of agricultural land

Four steps to change the status of agricultural land

The borders and the purpose of the agricultural land, which are included in the construction limits of the populated places and the habitation formations, are defined by common or detailed site development plan. Including of agricultural land in this plans is made after a procedure of changing the Urban Planning.

Changing the usage purpose of the land is in the capacity of the relevant Commission in the regional directorate for agriculture and food where the real estate is located, when the land is with space no greater than 50 dka, and when the land is bigger in space – the question is decided from the Commission for agricultural lands of the Ministry of agriculture and food.

The steps are as follows:

  1. The procedure starts with an application to the mayor of the municipality where the real estate is located. To the application must be attached documents for ownership of the land or for right to build. When in the documents for ownership is written one person as owner, his/hers inheritors must present a certificate for inheritors issued within the last 6 months. In case of co- ownership the application must be submitted from all of the holders of the right. With the application the owners want permission for a licensed person to make a Detailed Site Development Plan which comply with the intentions for building on the land – what object, with what purpose will build on it.


  1. In the explanatory note to the application are indicated: the name of the object, data about the anticipated activity, location of the object (area, territory of the populated place and its functional type, municipality, region), distance from the country’s road system and from other nearest existing objects, the size and the borders of the objects, which is to be build. The plan is mandatory coordinated with the relevant exploitation companies which guarantees the opportunity to be provided an infrastructure in the real estate – electricity supply, water supply and sewerage. For building the roadside objects in the Detailed Site Development Plan must be listed what will be the communication and transport links.


  1. Except the Detailed Site Development Plan, for the procedure of changing the terrain for construction would be necessary the following:
  • Plans of the real estate and situation plan on which is recorded the location of the real estate on the Restored Property Plan.
  • View from the Regional inspectorate of environment and water. In some cases is wanted a report about the effect on the environment to the wanted change.
  • Document for categorization of the agricultural land –it is issued from the Regional Directorate “Agriculture”; in the procedures for changing the purpose of the agricultural lands, they are categorized in 10 categories according to the productive opportunities of the soil and climate conditions, the texture and technological qualities of the land, its availability to produce different kinds of plant products and the imposed restrictions for usage of the land under the conditions and order defined in ordinance, accepted from the Bulgarian Government;
  • Certificate for irrigation from “Irrigation systems”.


  1. This completed file of documents is submitted together with order of the Mayor before the Expert council, which in case of positive result accepts a decision for validation of construction site. The Mayor on the ground of the decision of the Expert council issues an order and all of the documents is submitted in Regional Directorate “Agriculture”. In two months term there has to be a decision on the question for changing the purpose of the agricultural land. The same should be inscribed in the Register of the Municipal office for agriculture and forestry. Important question is that about the costs related to the changing the purpose of the land, as usually in case of massif the application doesn’t include the change in the status of the whole space, but only on the allowed for construction space according to the urban planning indicators.


Except payment for the preparation and coordination of the Detailed Site Development Plan, it is necessary to be paid the respective fees from special tariff. Their concrete amount depends on:


  • the category of the agricultural land, pointed in the act of categorization;
  • the size of the land that is included in the borders of the construction site or plan of the object;


–          the location of the land according to the functional type of the populated place, determined by the Unified classifier of the administrative-territorial and territorial units (EKATTE) in Republic of Bulgaria;-          the object’s kind;-          the opportunity for irrigation. The purpose and the kind of the construction also have significance for the amount of the fees – and if its trade objects, production objects, warehouse objects, administrative objects, resort objects, tourist and sports objects or object for living and villa complexes. The whole procedure is accompanied by many individual and collective administrative acts, also it’s needed the consent of the neighbors (about the Detailed Site Development Plan). Not every agricultural land is subject to regulation and in case of refusal a complaint is submitted to the court of competence. The relatively low price of the agricultural land hides at least three risky moments: there is no guarantee that the change of the land’s purpose will be truly achieved, there is no legally set term for closing the procedure; not always can be made a prognosis about the true expenses for changing the status of the terrain.

Along with this, in case of well calculated risks, the agricultural land hides a great potential as profitable investment after changing it for construction – the difference in price in terms before and after the change of the status is on average between two and 15 times.


For every object which is offered to be build or expanded upon agricultural land is determined the needed construction site or path except for objects connected with usage of the agricultural lands.

The needed construction site or path for building or expanding the object is determined by the project for Detailed Site Development Plan.

The project for Detailed Site Development Plan is made in compliance with the requirements of the procurement regulations for the necessary land and the volume and the content of Detailed Site Development Plan, determined in the Territorial Development Act. For each site is completed file according to art. 30 from the Rules for applying the law for Protection of Agricultural Lands.

For professional advice, please contact Kirilova Law & Associates.

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