Costa del Sol's Property Specialists

Spanish Building Regulations

Spanish Building RegulationsIt is not the intention to go into great detail on the subject of building rules and regulations. However, as a general guide you will find outlined below a summary of the main factors to consider when selecting a building plot. Be aware that many regulations are unique to certain Town Hall's and many Town Hall's interpret the rules in differing ways.

The Spanish Parliament has passed a law on the 1st July 2007, aimed at controlling property speculators whom the government blames for spiralling house prices. Official documents will list everybody who has owned any piece of land in the five years before its development. Senior local government officials will also have to declare their assets.

Building land tends to fall into two distinct categories namely urban land and rustic land. Generally speaking urban land is found in the areas surrounding the town, whilst rustic land is found in the countryside, usually some distance away from the town.

Urban Land Regulations

Designated approved building/development land and described as such on the government approved General Plan of the area. This plan, which is revised periodically, is a public document and can be viewed freely by anyone who cares to enquire at the appropriate department in the local Town Hall. Because this type of land has been already approved for building, outline planning permission is not necessary. The building project process can begin almost immediately.

Plot Sizes

Building plots range in size from 600m² to 2,000m² depending on the conditions applied to the urbanization plan (Plan Parcial). Usually urbanizations comprising individual houses are made up of plots of 800m² - 1000m².

Area Occupancy

The maximum size of the property to be built is governed by another set of rules, again this varies from Town Hall to Town Hall. As a general rule, the building may not occupy more than 20% to 30% of the area of the building plot.

Example: A building plot of 1,000m² with an area occupancy restriction of 25% would allow a building to have a ground floor of 250m².

Another regulation to be considered is the Total Construction factor, this governs the maximum number of square metres in total allowed to be built on the plot. This factor again usually ranges from around 20% to 30% per m². Therefore if we take the example above, given an:

Spanish Building RegulationsArea Occupancy restriction of 25% and a Total Construction factor of 0.3 and a plot size of 1,000 m².

The Maximum ground floor occupancy is 1000 x 0.25 = 250m²

The Maximum overall construction is 1000 x 0.3= 300m².

This would allow a house with a large ground floor area of 250m² plus a small upstairs of 50m². (Total constructed area 300m²)

Or alternatively and possibly a more practical arrangement might be two floors of 150m² each. (Total constructed area 300m²)

It should be noted that these are the maximum areas of occupancy and construction however they exclude a cellar, (which may be the same area as the ground floor,) terracing, porches and a swimming pool.

There are other rules governing the maximum height of the building, usually between 6 and 7 metres, and the distance from the boundary usually between 3 and 7 metres. Rules also restrict the height of sold boundary walls typically 1 to 1.80 metres.

Sometimes the ascetic appearance of the building is restricted, but generally speaking unless an outrageous design is planned this usually does not present a planning problem.

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