Building regulations in the Spanish can be a very grey area. Land is classified according to its planning potential. In Spain there can be severe restrictions on the building of any new construction on land classified as ‘rustico’ or ‘suelo no urbanizable’. These rules can vary in different parts of Spain and you should proceed with caution before making any purchase.
If rustic land does have an existing building within its boundaries, there are more opportunities at least to develop and renovate that property, especially if you are able to demonstrate that it was once used as a dwelling. It is possible to renovate a ‘masia’, or any construction which exists within a Catalogue which is supposed to be held at the local Town Hall or ayuntamiento. The reality is that many town halls do not have a catalogue, in which case it is up to the developer (promotor) to do the groundwork, and justify that their proposal is not a change of use, but rather a renovation of a building already recognised as a dwelling.
Often, you will have to produce a ‘Landscape Integration Project’ – ‘Estudi d’Impacte i Integració Paisatgistica’ in order to convince the planners that your proposal is architecturally sympathetic to the context in which it will be placed.
In Aragón, there has been a recent suspension of planning permission granted for the building of dwellings in rural areas, but over the next year or two it is likely that local municipalities will revert to their pre-2009 status of allowing houses in this category of land. Do check before making any purchase as the laws are in a state of flux. Or contact us to help you do this investigation. Also in Aragón, a building which is to be used for rural tourism is currently still permitted, if agreed by the regional planning body and the Environmental Agency, INAGA.
All parts of Spain have designated protected rural areas, clearly set out in maps (if you can find them) which will tell you for sure whether an area will definitely NOT allow any development. Be careful to check that the land you purchase allows you to build the type property that you would wish. It is advisable to employ a property professional to investigate the planning potential of any property before purchase. We can do the necessary checks and produce a survey that can out line the building regulations or any unforeseen pitfalls for any property, please contact us if you would like more information on a pre-purchase survey