How much and when is it allowed to build on agricultural land?

Šime Unić
How much and when is it allowed to build on agricultural land?

The rules and conditions for building on agricultural land depend on the legislation and urban planning regulations of the state. Construction on agricultural land is usually very limited in order to preserve the agricultural use of that land and to protect the environment and preserve the urban plan.

Agricultural land is often a valuable resource intended for food production and environmental protection. However, the issue of construction on agricultural land causes many debates and dilemmas. In order to clarify the situation, it is important to understand the rules, restrictions and potentials related to building on this type of land. Today, in this article, we will analyze what can be built on agricultural land and for what purposes.

Exceptions and permissions

Although building on agricultural land is usually restricted, there are exceptions and situations where building permits can be obtained. This often includes the construction of facilities that are necessary for agricultural production or that contribute to rural development. Also, in some cases, a permit for the construction of residential buildings can be obtained, but under strictly defined conditions.

Buildings for agricultural production

One of the key exceptions to the restrictions on construction on agricultural land refers to buildings used for agricultural production. These can be facilities such as stables, warehouses, greenhouses, greenhouses and the like. These buildings are often necessary for agricultural activities and contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas. The conditions are that they are not prohibited by the spatial plan and that the minimum particle size is met.

Rural tourism and recreation

Another important aspect that can justify building on agricultural land is the development of rural tourism and recreation. The construction of facilities such as rural holiday homes, wineries or tourist centers can contribute to the diversity of the local economy. But these projects usually require careful planning and adherence to special conditions in order to preserve the nature and traditions of the area. It is also necessary to obtain a construction and use permit.

Can I build a pool next to the house?

If you have a legalized house on agricultural land and are thinking of extending the house or building a swimming pool next to it, it is important to consider that specific rules for agricultural land apply.

Given that the house is legalized, it is allowed to maintain and reconstruct the existing dimensions of the house. However, upgrades or construction of ancillary structures such as a swimming pool are usually not permitted on agricultural land, precisely because of the primary agricultural use of the area.

We advise you to consult your local planning and building authorities before carrying out any work to get precise information about what is allowed to be built and what the conditions are for building and extending on agricultural land.

Is a building permit required for such buildings?

Obtaining building permits on agricultural land usually requires the submission of detailed plans and documents justifying the need for construction. The decision to issue a permit depends on meeting the conditions established by local laws and urban plans.

For buildings on agricultural land, the need for a use and building permit depends, therefore, on the type of building and location conditions. Generally speaking, smaller and simpler buildings on agricultural land in Croatia can be erected without a building permit, while larger, more complex and permanent buildings often require a permit.

These smaller temporary buildings include greenhouses, field houses, warehouses or dryers. It is important to note that according to the law, the purpose of these buildings must be exclusively agricultural, and any other use is illegal.

However, permanent structures such as residential houses, farms, larger storage or processing facilities usually require permits.

Permitted dimensions of the agricultural building

One of the key questions that arise when considering construction on agricultural land is related to the dimensions of the agricultural building. This important topic directly affects the planning of agricultural activities, the development of rural areas and the preservation of the environment. Although it depends on the urban plans of each local community, there are general guidelines that regulate the permitted size of agricultural buildings.

The permitted size of an agricultural facility is often adapted to the purpose of that facility and the level of investment required for construction. For example, storage areas, barns, greenhouses and similar facilities that are necessary for agricultural production may be larger than facilities used in rural tourism or recreation. Large investments are usually accompanied by larger permitted dimensions of buildings.

The size of the facility is determined by a specific spatial plan and often depends on the minimum area of the agricultural plot. For example, different plans allow the construction of a commercial building of 50 square meters on a plot that must be at least 1 hectare in size.

Elsewhere, you can build a field house up to 30 square meters on a 1,000 square meter plot or a tool shed up to 10 square meters on a 500 square meter plot. Generally speaking, the size of buildings is determined according to the guidelines of the spatial plan adopted for your area.


When it comes to building on agricultural land, the rules are often clearly defined in order to preserve the basic purpose of the land - agricultural production. However, there are situations where planning permission can be obtained, although these are usually subject to strict conditions.

Exemptions and building permits on agricultural land allow you to carry out certain construction activities, but under strict conditions to preserve the primary purpose of these areas. The development of agriculture, rural tourism and sustainable recreation can contribute to the sustainable development of the community, but this must be achieved while respecting the natural and cultural values of these areas.

In any case, it is important to comply with local regulations and consult with the relevant authorities before starting any construction projects on agricultural land, so that everything is legal.

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