August 29, 2008 at 7:54 am #54272
Hi folks – first post here.
We have been looking at buying a finca to use as a holiday home, gradually moving towards retirement.
The plan is to have an agro-tourism/eco-tourism business, and turn the place into a working farm/vineyard.
With that in mind, we don’t mind so much the distance to the coast, and living off-grid etc – and have been looking at Aragon (specifically because of the horror stories of planning permission in catalonia, and land grabs in Valencia).
various sellers are suggesting that the planning laws in Aragon (specifically, rural areas around Teruel) are more friendly, and essentially mean that if you own more than 2 hectares (roughly) you can automatically build up to 300m2 – and the issue just becomes one of being up to building code, rather than permission as such.
this seems a little too good to be true – especially for the land we are looking at (the price sure drops fast when there’s no mains electricity!!). I have a nice healthy aversion to things that look too good to be true, and now I am wondering – is this a nice line to feed the stupid brits, or is this actually how the planning rules work in Aragon?
August 29, 2008 at 8:31 am #85893
You have to be very very careful. Don’t take notice from sellers, agents or local lawyers about Building Permission. Don’t pay any money till you get an answer in writing from the Town Hall about everything you want to know
If you are interested in buying some land for business you need more permissions than the building one.
My advice is that if you are dealing with public bodies in Spain always request the answers in writing. Try to convince seller to accept a small reservation fee (500 eur) and apply for all the permissions that you need and once you get all the licences in your hands go to the Notary for completion.
August 29, 2008 at 10:21 am #85900
As you know that what you say never happens in Spain. Nobody will give you anything in writing in Spain. Town hall, planning department etc, etc. Unless of course they want money from you.
The, employee of the Town halls are ill trained, never made to realise what is responsibility and professionalism. This makes them not to commit themselves or take responsibility.
Away from the Council, four years ago I sold my place in Marbella. Nobody asked me for the 5% capital gains retention at the notary. I raised the issue and was told to see a member of the Notary staff. Having told him my reasons for wanting to see him.
The contract was shown a calculation of 5% was made by me,
for him. He took it the money & I waited for him to give me a receipt he gave me strange looks. On my persistence he decided to give me a receipt on a blank page. I requested that I need either an official receipt or,on a notary letter head. He reluctantly agreed to it. I than had to ask him to sign it and place the notary stamp on his signature.
He,was not willing to do this. Upon this I told him that if he does do what is expected, I will not pay the 5%. He reluctantly agreed to it. All this took nearly 45 minutes & was under very unpleasant atmosphere.
August 29, 2008 at 10:47 am #85901
shakeel, what I say sometimes happens in Spain, going back to the point I want to add that if you want an answer in writing from a Town Hall you must request it in writing.
Of course, the employee of a Town Hall are always reluctant to give you answers in writing if you are not asking in writing.
August 29, 2008 at 11:19 am #85905
“I want to add that if you want an answer in writing from a Town Hall you must request it in writing.”
Information of such nature is all ways done in writing or on a standard form, provided by the Council or respective body that you are dealing with. People will be happy ring to find out when the next fiesta is and where their casita!!!!
“Of course, the employee of a Town Hall are always reluctant to give you answers in writing.”
Why, should they be reluctant ??. If they know, what they are doing.This again shows a mentality of non commitment on their behalf. To be fair to them if the Junta and provinces are not speaking to one another, playing politics and applying different rules in theory than in practise, than I cannot see, why any one should stick his/her neck out.
August 30, 2008 at 1:32 am #85910
Thanks for the replies (I think!) I can see why the Spanish property market is on the skids…
To be honest though, while this seems sound advice for dealing with the authorities, what I really need is to know whether the legal position (if carried out properly) in Aragon is as simple as made out by the vendors – is there a right to build up to a certai footprint based on property size?
is anyone familiar with the regulations in this area?
August 30, 2008 at 8:04 am #85911
You must check how up to date this is. My advice is to employ an architect now who is familiar with the local planning laws. You would always be required to seek permission.
August 30, 2008 at 8:51 am #85912
Shakeel, regarding your 5% retention (applicable for non residents only)four years ago; it was the responsibility of the buyer to withhold the 5% and pay it over within 30 days to the relevevant authority – not the seller !! maybe the notary spent your 5% on a splurge at the local venta…
August 30, 2008 at 9:53 am #85914
Skids, is one thing because of market, economic condition or act of god. These conditions are cyclical, they come & go.
However, Spain’s problem is exasperated is due to corruption, nepotism, poor or absence of administrative controls, accountability, lack of fair functioning of legal system. These issues are not cyclical and are embedded in the Spanish psyche.
August 30, 2008 at 10:14 am #85915
Going to the point, sections 23, 24 and 25 of planning Act 5/1999 of Aragon establish what can be built in generic non urban land.
Section 23 . Buildings subject to building permission.
a) In generic non urban land, Town Halls will be able to authorize, by means of the building permission, in accordance with the regime established, where appropriate, in the General Plan or the special planning, and whenever the determining values of the classification of the land like non urban are not injured, the following constructions and facilities:
a) The destined one to the agrarian development and, generally, of natural resources or related to the protection of the environment, including the house of people who must remain permanently in the corresponding cultivation.
b) The linked ones to the execution, maintenance and service of public works, including the house of people who must permanently remain in the place of the corresponding construction or installation.
c) In towns with General Plan, the isolate buildings destined to single-family house in places in which possibility of formation of a ‘nucleo de población’ does not exist, according to the concept of this one established in section 179, paragraph 2, of this Act. Unless the planning prohibits east type of constructions or establishes more severe conditions, it will be demanded that the buildings do not exceed the 300 squared meters of constructed surface, as well as that the plots, at least, have 10,000 meters squared of surface and that they are assigned to the construction, staying the agricultural use of the same or, by default, with wooded land.
Section 24. Buildings subject to special building permission
In generic non urban land they will be able to be authorized, following the procedure regulated in the following section and in accordance with the regime established, where appropriate, in the general plan or the special planning, and whenever the values protected by the classification of the ground like non urban land are not injured, the following constructions and facilities:
a) Constructions and facilities that are possible to consider of public interest by their contribution to the rural development or because are located itself in rural areas.
b) Works of renovation of constructions in uninhabited villages, districts or towns, as well as of old huts, towers or other rural buildings, whenever the own traditional external characteristics typological of such constructions stay. The authorization will be able to imply a change of use with respect to the original one of the building, as well as the division in several houses when its size allows it. Also the necessary works that require the renovations for the implantation of the city-planning services will be able to be authorized , although, when these works have a global character in the affected nucleus, it will be possible to demand the corresponding special plan for the infrastructures
c) In Town Halls without General Plan, the isolate buildings destined to single-family house, in accordance with the same established requirements, in letter c) of the previous section.
Article 25. Special procedure of special building permission
The procedure in the cases established in the previous article will be the following one:
a) Request of interested before the City council, expressing the fundamental characteristics of the construction or existing installation, its location, constructions in a radius of 500 meters, solutions in the matter of rolled access, water supplying and evacuation, electrical energy and elimination of residues.
b) Simultaneous submission of the request and its documentation to public information and report of the Provincial Planning Commission by term of two months. The report of this one will be binding when it proposes the refusal of the authorization, whenever it communicates within term the City council.
c) Definitive resolution by the City council, notwithstanding the corresponding work licence.
August 30, 2008 at 10:21 pm #85923
UBEDA, Yes it was built into the selling price.
September 1, 2008 at 7:56 am #85929
Theojones, I forget to tell you something about the binding report of the Provincial Planning Commission
Sellers will offer you plots with one or two hectares or more but you won’t obtain the consent of this provincial commission if these plots come from a previous and recent division of land.
I mean, if I own in Aragon a plot of 10 hectares and want to make a good business I divide the plot in 10 sub-plots and I’d try to sell separately. My buyers bear in mind that for building legally the minimum is 1 hectare so they think they won’t have any problem with building permission.
Then, another important pre-search would be the history of the land in the Land Registry looking for recent divisions.
Remember also to check that they are not constructions in a radius of 500 mts
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