Planning permissions in Spain

Whether you are buying a property in a new development or building your own property, your lawyer will need to establish if the property has or can get planning permission.

Plan General de Ordenación Urbana

This information can be found in the Plan General de Ordenación Urbana at the Town Hall.  These plans are generally approved every four years and any interim changes must be publicly posted and approved, allowing affected property owners to contest or make a claim against the changes.

In many municipalities changes that have been made in the building codes and town plans, even though approved by the Town Hall, may need the final go-ahead from the regional government, which must vet and clear the municipal plans.  In some cases, there are special building codes set up for specific zones. The “Plan General de Ordenación Urbana2 (PGOU) analysis is not for amateurs and needs a specialist to correctly understand it.

If your land is located on an existing and approved urbanisation, the permit will probably be forthcoming, however this must be verified.  Care must be taken as some developments never received official approval and building has been stopped, as they never met the legal requirements for the services they have to provide, such as roads of a certain width, or water supply.

Plan Parcial

The Proyecto de Urbanización and the Plan Parcial provide details of the plans of parcels and building plots registered at the Town Hall.

The building permit issued by the Town Hall must also be vetted and approved by the regional building department. This department regulates the municipal departments to ensure that regulations are followed.  It is wise to check the building regulations for plots and areas around your chosen spot as well.

Read our new Buying in Spain Guide:

buying in spain guide.