Planning permission and building control! :/

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    • #53996

      Hi all

      I am currently living in oviedo, i came over from england about 2 months ago with a friend/business partner to look into the possibility of buying and renovating (and later selling) a house somewhere along the northern spanish coast. Although the renovation of the house is a business venture, we have come here for a different way of life, not soley profit driven!! However, we do obviously want to insure that the project is financially viable and therefore we are trying to get any idea of all the costs involved so that when we look at houses we will know if a profit can be made.

      We intend on buying a rural derelict house within 10kms of either oviedo, pola de siero, gijon or cangas de onis. All the renovations will be done ourselves. The main areas that i cant seem to find any information on the internet is the process and costs involved with change of use, planning permission and building control. If anyone has any first hand knowledge of this, or could point me in the right direction, id be really grateful

      Kind regards


    • #83194

      Hi Nick,

      Isn´t Oviedo where Fernando Alonso comes from? He is known locally as the Prince of Oviedo/Asturias. Sorry I digressed there!

      My planning experience comes from the south of Spain but I doubt things will be that much different in the north.

      Most costs are variable according to the value of the work to be done.

      First you need an architect to draw up the renovation plans. A calculated guess would be around 2,000€ but best to get quotes from 2 or 3 before you engage one.

      Secondly, you need to get a builders quote or 2 for a comparable price on the work. I know you intend to do the work yourself but a price quote must be submitted to the town hall as the charges for the bulding permit/planning permit will be calculated as a percentage to the cost of works.

      The town hall with also charge for their apericador (spelling probably wrong) which can be expensive – €1,800 for mine. He will contol the building works according to local planning and ensure the work sticks to the plans that were passed among other things.

      It pays to submit your quote as the lowest to keep the planning approval costs down. My local townhall calculated 4.9% of building costs + apericador cost. So if you then add your architects fees on top you will get a reasonable idea of costs of planning.

      There will be a few other costs on top but those above are the major ones.

      An important point. Make sure your architect is well respected at the town hall (it can get personal) and also be sure you only pay half his fee until he gets your planning passed, especially if he is seeing the planning through on your behalf.

      Equally importantly, continually remind him he will have to come back and rubber stamp the work after it is completed. Also his plans must be stamped by the college of architects before he submits them to the town hall.

      I hope the above helps.

    • #83198

      Hi peter!

      Firstly thanks alot for the reply, i really appreciate it!

      Can i assume that the information that you have provided covers costs involved in obtaining a major works licence?

      Im a bit confused over what work requires a major and a minor works licence and how the process differentiates! The spanish property websites cover alot right upto the purchasing of a house but i cant seem to find much on renovation.

      Thanks for any help you can give


      p.s that is right, oviedo is alonso´s home town, and rather comically and not surprisingly my flat mate has a bitter hatred for hamilton! hahahaha 🙂

    • #83199

      theres a lot of info hidden on this sight, you only have to know the right words to put in the search engine to find it!!!

      hope that helps, have also answered you pm…

    • #83201

      Hi Nick,

      The type of license, minor major works is ambiguous.

      If you are restoring a ruin in my province, it is only possible to restore the part of the building that is still roofed. Let´s say a 300m2 ruin that has half the roof collapsed means i can only restore the 150m2 that is still roofed. Crazy I know but very closely observed by the town hall.

      I cannot knock down a ruin and build a new property under any circumstances, Only restore what is there. Neither can I add over what is the original footprint of the exhisting property.

      You will need a restoration/reformacion permit equvellent to major works licence to reform a property as described above. Country properties are the toughest, though village houses are easier as they are in fully urbanised areas. Country properties on the whole are not generally urbanised and so are more contencious issues. The government are trying to protect the countryside from overbuilding and it is through heavy regulations that even restorations of exhising properties are being squeezed.

      Before commiting yourself, you need to visit the local town hall with your lawyer and architect and get some assurances that your ideas can be accepted.

      Don´t offer any deposits not 1 cent to any agent or private vendor before you have some town hall assurances. The market is dead everywhere so there is no need to feel you are hurried into commiting to a purchase.

      On a lighter note, I feel for your position living with an Alonso fan in Oviedo, especially after Monaco. 😳

    • #83230

      In Spain the local planning system controls the use of land and what’s built on it through two types of license
      a) Minor construction work permit “Licencia de Obra menor”

      To find out what kind of works are considered minor you have to check the local regulation. You may contact the planning department of your local planning authority for advice requesting application form and decide on permit type. It is often a good idea to meet a planning officer for an informal discussion before you proceed. You will not be charged for this. Each Town Hall has his own ordinance but generally speaking under this type are included:

      Repair work without alteration of the volume or the principal use of the facilities and services of communal use
      Building works which are wholly internal.
      Works that do not affect the external composition or structure
      For instance: Changing the floors, changing the tiles, building or removing partitions in the interior of the house, placing or removing doors, windows, gratings, tiling a garden or terrace, adding decorative girders/pergolas to a garden or terrace, raising the walls of the garden.

      Documentation required
      Aplication with description of the works, proposed use, budget, owner and/or builder identification and location. You should keep one sealed copy of the application form

      b) Major construction work permit “Licencia de Obra mayor”

      For undertaking works such as new buildings, alterations, demolitions or even the construction of a swimming pool you need to apply for a “Licencia de Obra mayor”

      Documentation required
      Application form signed by an architect, architectural engineer, promoter and builder must be accompanied by a plan of the site, details of any proposed works and two copies of the construction drawings endorsed by the Architects Association

      Construction Tax “Impuesto sobre instalaciones construcciones y obras” I.C.I.O. and/or Licence fees. These are calculated depending on the figure set by your Town Council, approximately ICIO costs about 3-4% of the estimated construction costs and Licence fees about 1-2%. It is irrelevant for this tax if you have the materials and you and only you are going to undertake the works therefore you have to pay tax in this case calculating the cost according to the guidelines of the Architect Association. These fees are not refundable even the permit is not granted.

      It is not necessary to make the application yourself. If you wish, you can appoint an agent (for instance, an architect, a solicitor, or a builder) to submit it for you on your behalf but your agent will need a written and express authorization
      If the Town Hall does not reply you with a written notification within the time period provided by law , you will automatically obtain the licence, assuming that the correct information was submitted and it complies with planning regulations.
      If you don´t wait until your application is granted the local authorities could impose you a disciplinary penalty.
      If the council turn down your application or imposes conditions, it must give written reasons and if you think the council’s decision is unreasonable, you may wish to consider appealing to the Mayor. The deadline for submitting an appeal is indicated in the decision of the Town Hall
      If you know any construction works undertaking without permission you could report to the Council even if you do not have any nuisance or detriment.

      Asturias Acts

      Decreto Legislativo 1/2004, de 22 de abril, por el que se aprueba el Texto Refundido de las disposiciones legales vigentes en materia de Ordenación del Territorio y Urbanismo. Modificado por Ley 2/2004, de 29 octubre, de medidas urgentes en materia de Suelo y Vivienda.

      Decreto 124/2005, 24 noviembre, por el que se varía la distribución territorial señalada en la disposición adicional primera de la Ley 2/2004

    • #83238

      Here’s a few pointers for Asturias ……..

      If you’re using an Architect (de Collegio) then their fee can be up to 9.95% of the construction costs based upon a scale set by the Royal College o Architects (the same scale talked about above by ’spanishlawyer’. Do not use this scale (especially renovating a ruin) as an estimate of cost as it is purely notional for calculating fees, taxes etc. – in reality, the costs may well be more. The architect fees are roughly split 40% Proyecto Basico, 30% Proyecto de Ejecucion & 30% Direccion de Obras.

      In addition to the ICIO and license costs, and the costs above, you will probably have to consider paying for the following ……

      – aparejador
      – insurance for the work and public liability
      – formation of an electric installation project
      – health & safety study
      – structural survey

      I am told that Constructors in Asturias use a rough rule of 1000 Euro’s per square meter of floor space for a full renovation with letting potential. With old properties, it often is cheaper to gut the whole inside and the roof and start with a shell or demolish and rebuild. Many local constructors are loath to quote for a renovation project that doesn’t pull out all the guts as they run the risk of uncovering hidden problems and all of a sudden their labour costs will shoot up – these will naturally be passed onto you plus their gross margin and a bit more for a beer afterwards.

      A constructor will normally add on an absolute minimum of 15% to the material costs before he bills you. If doing the work yourself, then you can negotiate a standard 90 day payment term with material suppliers but will probably involve you having to open a special account with the bank.

      Be aware that if you intend to rent out even one room then a whole different set of building regulations apply e.g. larger beam sizes. Be careful not only to check the Asturian regulations but also your local town hall’s – if they chose, they can add additional clauses to the main Asturian one’s. If buying a ruin, then ensure you also check the local Antiquity Register, as many stone and block houses (even up to 1940) have been the equivalent of ‘listed’. This generally just affects the exterior appearance of the building, but will involve additional paperwork and cost to get any work cleared.

      Peter’s advice of ‘finding a locally respected architect with good relations with the town hall’ is very sound – they can often negotiate around certain stipulations made by the Town Hall; what they can’t waiver on are the building regulations.

      If either of you do not have Spanish to an advanced level, then make sure you retain the services of a translator. There are quite a few English language schools around now – I would suggest trying to get one of the staff to accept a commission but you will probably have to supply them with technical words and their translation e.g. purlin

      If using a surveyor prior to purchase, then best find yourself a respected local one rather than a Brit working out there – I only say this because they’ll cost less and I know of a few instances where they’d missed significant details because they didn’t fully understand the layers of bureaucracy and the tiered layers of legislation / overseeing bodies.

      There is an art to understanding rubble build walls, and build upon them the right way so as not to cause deflection and subsequent stress cracks – you’ll need this appreciation if you’re not going to sell on a property that has fundamental problems but looks good because it’s all tarted up on surface.

      My gut reaction is, that as an investment, it may take you many years to recoup a reasonable return on outlay and you may well be better off looking at other types of investment in other areas / countries. Buying a ruin or renovation project often sounds a cheap initial proposition but the on-costs can be huge

    • #83294

      Thanks for all your replies guys!

      Does anyone know how cambio de uso fits in to all of this? would it be encorporated into a major works licence or seperate? Ive heard it can be costly and time consuming (if possible at all!).

      Also does any one know if the ayuntamient would have any problems about us doing the work ourselves, in our spare time, not as registered professionals?

      Coming from england i cant help but think why does the Spanish government makes it so expensive to renovate – it seems like there is no incentive for renovators (spanish or foreign alike) to restore and guard Spain’s old building (ie heritage!). I mean i could undertand if the ayuntamiento wanted to know exacty what we are doing, but taking a cut of the construction costs….

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