Building legislation: Who is considered a neighbour within the meaning of the 2011 Tyrolean Building Regulations (TBO)?

Pursuant to Article 15(1) Austrian Federal Constitutional Act (B-VG), the legislation in the field of building law and its execution falls into the independent sphere of influence of the Federal States. There are therefore nine different building regulations in Austria. In the legal article below reference is, however, only made to the 2011 Tyrolean Building Regulations (TBO 2011).

General provisions: All Austrian building regulations create subjective public rights of neighbours to co-design the planning permission procedure to a limited extent. Neighbours are thus granted a limited party status in the procedure. Their right to contribute to the discussion is limited to circumstances in which their legal sphere, protected by building law, could be infringed by a building project being implemented. No other objections, going beyond the right to contribute to the discussion, are taken into consideration in the decision to grant planning permission. From the perspective of a neighbour, two questions are essential in the planning permission procedure: 1.) Who is considered a neighbour within the meaning of the Tyrolean Building regulations?; and 2.)Which of the objections put forward by neighbours is to the point in the building procedure in accordance with the TBO, and which not?

As regards the first question: Sec. 26(2) of the TBO 2011 explicitly defines the term “neighbour”: Neighbours are the proprietors of those plots of ground which 1. either directly adjoin the building site or the borders of which are at least located at a point within a horizontal distance of 15 metres from a point on the border to the building site; and 2. whose borders fall at least at a point within a horizontal distance of 50 metres from a point of the building structure or that part of the building structure which is the subject of the building project.

As regards the second question: Only the allegation/objection of subjective public neighbourhood rights is to the point. The law does not accord all neighbours the same number of neighbourhood rights. In regard to the delimitation, what is authoritative in most cases is the spatial vicinity to the building project.

No neighbourhood rights relate, for example, to regulations concerning the urban landscape, or a right to a particular view from one’s own property.

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