Apply for a derogation if you want to deviate from an existing zoning plan or building regulation.

You will need a derogation if you want to deviate from an existing zoning plan or building regulation. The applicant for a derogation may be the owner or occupier of the property.

The time taken to process a request for a derogation depends on its scope. The processing time from the date of submission of the application to the data decision is at least two months. The length of time it takes to process a proposal is influenced by, among other things, the number of reminders and statements submitted. The parties concerned have the right to appeal against the decision. The appeal process will prolong the time for the decision to become final. The appeal authority can also annul the decision.

You will need the appendices listed below to apply for a derogation. The text in brackets indicates the type of appendix for Lupapiste. Please submit attachments in PDF format, text files in A4 format and drawings in A3 format in landscape orientation.

  • Statement tenure (Certificate of tenure). A document (e.g. a title deed, lease, tenure-sharing agreement or deed of sale if the title deed is pending or less than 6 months after the transaction) showing the tenure for the building site or other grounds for applying for a derogation. Order a title deed from the National Land Survey of Finland.
  • Power of attorney (power of attorney). Submit the power of attorney with the application, if the application is signed by a proxy and not the applicant. If there are several occupiers of the site, they must all sign the power of attorney. The power of attorney must specify all the measures to which the authorised representative is entitled.
  • Extract from the minutes of the board of directors (Extract of the minutes). If the applicant for a derogation is, for example, a housing association, its board of directors decides whether to apply for a derogation. In this case, a copy of the minutes of the decision must be submitted. In the case of other limited liability companies (e.g. real estate companies), the need for minutes depends on the corporate structure of the limited liability company in question.
  • Explanation of derogations and other justifications (Other explanation). In your application, clearly state the reasons for each of the matters covered by the derogation. If there are many justifications, you can write them in a separate appendix.
  • Report on hearing neighbours. No report is required if the city is to carry out the hearing of neighbour. Read more in the section Hearing and consent of a neighbour.
  • Environmental map (map extract)  Print a map in the City of Helsinki Map Service. Type in the address and select a base map as the background map. Print the PDF by selecting the print command. Select A4 for paper size, portrait orientation and 1:20,000 scale.
  • Preliminary plans (Other plan) Send as a single file. Preliminary plans usually include layout plan, floor plans, façades, cross-sections. They must be drawn up by a qualified structural engineer. Send your plans as a single file. The drawing title must include the scale of the drawing printed in A3 size. For some projects (such as increasing the efficiency of detached house plots), a preliminary plan is sufficient.
  • The layout plan, which should show:
      • existing and planned buildings or construction works on the site
      • the integration of buildings into the environment
      • floor area calculation (can also be a separate appendix).
  • An extract from the zoning plan, which can be linked to existing zoning plans. You can get it from the Helsinki Map Service. Under Planning and transport, select Valid.

Follow these steps

  1. Negotiate with Building Control Services

    Negotiate this with Building Control Services using the Ask for Advice function. You will be told whether you need permission for a minor derogation and whether you need to talk to a zoning planner.

  2. If necessary, talk to a zoning planner.

  3. Collect the necessary appendices

    Collect the necessary appendices to the request for a derogation and write the justification. Apply for any derogations from the zoning plan and building regulations that are necessary for the project. In your application, clearly state the reasons for each of the matters covered by the derogation. After the derogation decision, we will no longer grant derogations at the building permit stage.

  4. Make a request for a derogation through Lupapiste.

  5. Check the decision

    In addition to the applicant, the contact persons mentioned in the application will also be informed of the derogation decision. The decision will also be posted on Lupapiste. Check the decision to see if it contains conditions that must be taken into account in the planning and when applying for a building permit. The decision records the derogations granted and the time limit for applying for the corresponding building permit. The time limit can be up to 2 years.

  6. Attach to the building permit application

    The derogation decision and the certificate of finality should be attached to the building permit application. Both of these can be obtained from the appeal authority mentioned in the decision, which may be, for instance, the Helsinki Administrative Court. 

Permit fees and permit processing

Applications receive notification of the decision approvals in the Lupapiste online permit service.  

Permit decisions made by Building Control Services officials will be on public display for 14 days and permit decisions by the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee for 30 days. It is possible to lodge a claim for rectification against a permit decision by a Building Control Services official with the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee. Permit decisions by the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee can be appealed to the Helsinki Administrative Court.

You can see the public notice list of permit decisions made by Building Control Services officials under Julkipano in the Lupapiste service(Link leads to external service).

The public notice list for permit decisions by the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee is viewable in the lobby of Kaupunkiympäristötalo at Työpajankatu 8.

Find permits decisions on the following pages:  

A list of public notices and decisions is also on display in the lobby of the Urban Environment House, located at street address Työpajankatu 8, Helsinki.

A permit decision becomes final when the appeal period has expired and no one has appealed the permit decision. The appeal period for a decision by the Environment and Permits Sub-committee of the Urban Environment Committee is 30 days and the appeal period for a decision by a Building Control Services official is 14 days. The date of the decision and the appeal period are indicated in the permit decision.

You may only start the construction work once the permit becomes legally valid. Projects that have been granted a building permit must begin within three (3) years and the construction work must be completed within five (5) years of the permit entering into force. In the case of action permit, demolition permit or landscape work permit, the work must be carried out within three (3) years.

Be sure to apply for an extension of your permit while it is still valid. Unless an extension is applied for during the permit’s period of validity, you will have to reapply.

In Helsinki, all applications for building permits are submitted electronically in the Lupapiste (Link leads to external service)online permit service. General and project-specific guidance and counselling are also primarily provided via Lupapiste. Documents related to the application and construction process monitoring are to be submitted in digital format to Lupapiste.

How to get started and ask for advice in Lupapiste

  1.  The first time you use the service, you will be asked to register. After this, you will be able to log in with your e-mail address and password.
  2. Enter the street address where your project site is located.
  3. Use the “Kysy neuvoa (Ask for advice)” button in the upper right-hand corner to request guidance. 
  4. Write a short description of your project and your question(s). The service will direct you to the appropriate expert who can answer your question(s). 

After the consultation, you can turn your request for guidance into a permit application.

The Lupapiste user manual (available in Finnish and Swedish only)(Link leads to external service) offers instructions for registering and logging in to the service, submitting a new application or request for guidance, turning your guidance request into a permit application, and submitting an application.

You can also submit a guidance request form (Link leads to external service)to receive technical support for using Lupapiste.