Land classification and planning zones in Spain

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All land in Spain belongs to one of the following planning zones

1. Suelo Rustico – Rural Land or Plots

Rural land, also called ‘suelo no urbanizable’, is governed by the national land law (Ley de Suelo), and by the land laws of the autonomous regions.

Some rural land is protected (suelo no urbanizable protegido), and can’t be built on, whilst some can be built on if certain conditions are met, for example a minimum plot size of 10,000m2. The regulations governing building on rural land vary from region to region.

Over the years, tens of thousands of properties have been illegally built on rural land, causing problems for owners and the authorities alike. Be sure you understand what can and can’t be built on rural land before you make any commitments to buy. The zoning of rural land can be checked at the town planning department of the town hall.

2. Suelo Urbano – Urban Land or Plots

These are urbanised, serviced plots on housing projects with access roads, water, electricity. These housing projects are known as urbanisations (urbanizaciones) in Spain

Certificado Urbanistico – Town Planning Certificate

You can get a town planning certificate for any plot in Spain from the town hall where the property is located. This is a certificate signed by the town planning authorities confirming the plot’s planning zone, use, building space, and building type. Always ask for one of these certificates before buying land to build in Spain.