Do I require planning permissions?

This is a typical question that people often ask me. Obviously the answer depends on the type of works that it is intended to carry out.

Let me first tell you as a general rule that in Spain most building works require a building licence and even more so now, with this existing tax collection quest by all local authorities due to the economic crisis, so most probably you will find the friendly local policemen eagerly looking for any illegal building works to be sanctioned.

Let us first explain that a building license is the pertinent authorisation granted by a Town Hall which allows the carrying out of most building works. There are two types of building licences; “Obra Mayor and Obra Menor” (Mayor or minor building licences) the first type would require a previous consent from the Local Authorities and would require an exhaustive project to be prepared by a qualified architect.

The latter would not require projects or previous consent from the Local Authorities just a written application presented at the Town Hall would suffice. There they will tell you the amount of taxes payable and that is it.

Characteristics of mayor building works.

The exact characteristics of what is recognised as mayor building works depends of each town hall but normally they are the following:

  • Division of any land into individual saleable plots.
  • Earth movements. (Here I add that by earth movement it is normally consider large earth movements that may change the topographical configuration of any site or plot).
  • Construction of any new buildings. 
  • Any structural works or any works that may change the external appearance of any existing building. 
  • Works which involves the modification of internal layout of any building regardless of its use. (This is a tricky one, because changing an internal partition would imply changing an internal layout? Normally the answer to this one depends on the interpretation given by local technical civil servant) 
  • Before you move into a brand new built house you would require what is call “Licencia de primera ocupación” or  First use licence. (This only item has been sufficient to write a complete article in fact I have written three, please refer to Procedures to follow before you buy a property in Spain (Part I, II and III published on CBN you can find it on my web page).
  • The covering up of any balconies or terraces and any installations in general. (On installation here I interpret this as any new installation such as a complete rewiring or complete water installation in a dwelling not the changing of a tap for example).
  • Construction of any underground parking facilities or any other use built underground.
  • The demolition of buildings.
  • Placement of advertising posters visible from public roads.
  • Cutting down any trees within the town boundaries.  Any other acts which may be contemplated in the local planning regulation.

Minor building works.

Licencia de obra menor” Minor building works are normally understood as:

Any works that not change any external wall openings, walls, structure, roofs or the interior layout of any building. These works are not subject to a prior license with a project but as mentioned above it does require to be communicated to the Town Hall and pay its correspondent fees.

It is considered to be minor works generally any which it is considered as such due to its simplicity and does not involve the modification of any structural element, changing the external appearance of its façade or the internal layout any building.

Planning permission.

Planning permission it is usually sought in Spain when it is requiring changing the use or the planning category of any land.

The legal attributions to classify any land in Spain falls in the responsibility of the Autonomous Regions and not the central government, having said that there are three different types of land: Urban land, buildable and none buildable land.

It shall constitute urban land that which is already transformed by overall planning and classified as such by:

(a) Having road access supply of essential services such as sewerage, drinking water electricity supply, and must have these services installed and suitable to serve the existing or envisaged buildings established in the previously approved plan.

(b) It is consolidated by buildings in an amount exceeding two-thirds of the site suitable for it, according to how it is established in the approved plan.

Also it will be considered as urban land sectors which, in implementation of the approved planning, are being urbanized in accordance with the approved plan.

Not buildable land.

1 Not buildable land will constitute any land which it is protected by the current planning laws or it is protected from the property development process, being subject to a specific protection regime incompatible with its urban transformation, in accordance with the instruments of regional planning, or the management of natural resources because of its scenic, historic, archaeological, scientific, environmental or cultural values.

Buildable land.

It will constitute the buildable land any land which does not fall in any of the two other categories i.e. the rest of the land. The owners of this type of land shall have the right to use, enjoy and dispose of their lands in accordance with its nature and characteristic and to obtain its planning transformation by making a planning approval application to the local and/or Regional Authorities. 

Escribir comentario

Comentarios: 145
  • #1

    Margaret Ricketts (domingo, 05 agosto 2018 06:30)

    I have been searching the internet to try and find out about the law in Spain regarding fencing rural land and erecting a field shelter for horses.
    I have bought an old casa in Galicia and would like to keep my horses there. The buildings are classed as part of the village, but the field for the horses is rustic land.
    In order to get a license to keep horses I need a fence, a shelter and water. I spoke to local Concello architect last year and she gave me a list of the information I needed to submit and a form to complete called Licencia Urbanistica. I have now sent the info into them by email as I'm in the UK at the moment, but they have replied saying I also need a proyecto.
    The fence is wooden posts and wire, the shelter a wooden construction without foundations. Do I really need to employ an architect for something so simple, or do you think a detailed plan of the proposed fence and structure would suffice?
    Any advise would be greatly welcome. Thank you

  • #2

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 06 agosto 2018 18:48)

    Dear Margaret,
    The reason why the town hall architect requires a Project is independent of the simplicity or complexity of the project but to be able to first; determine exactly the amount of land you will be able to cover with a roof. i.e. a plan with areas and measurements must be produced together with sections and elevations as each plot is allowed a percentage of covered construction that you may or may not have used up already, so that requires to be determine with an exact drawing.
    The specific construction will require to be determine together with its structure of some sort together with the rest of the shell of the building (shed) and someone need to take responsibility for in case it collapses and kill or injure anyone and that person must be a qualified architect.
    Don’t forget that although the shelter will be for horses, people will also use it. A priced build of quantities must also be included in the project so that a building licence tax can be calculated.
    The fence need also to be specified and quantify to see that if complies with the current building regulation of your village. There are limitations as to the height, materials to be used etc. and added to the bill of quantities.
    I hope I have through some light on your question.

    Best regards

    Juan Pacheco

  • #3

    caroline graham (lunes, 20 agosto 2018 09:59)

    I live on an urbanisation where many villa have private pools, the houses on my street have pools but the houses backing on to ours have not, if a pool is built within these gardens would only be a few feet away from mine, is there laws regarding how close a pool can be built to mine

  • #4

    Juan pacheco (lunes, 20 agosto 2018 17:27)

    Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for contacting Pacheco & Asociados Architects.
    The distance of the pool (the water plane, not the edge) to the boundary wall are normally 1m and 0,5 for the filter system is buried under ground., Having said that this distance may vary from town hall to town hall. So the best is to enquiry there for more exact reply.
    I hope that this has been of help.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #5

    S Lawson (lunes, 25 febrero 2019 10:09)

    Can you tell me if i can ask the townhall to provide a list of what cobstitutes a minor buikding worls licence and major . We understood ie if you put a perhola which is movable , no foundations needed , a minir licence woukd suffice . However the person in the technico office is saying we would need a proyecto . They will not supply details of works that are considered minor ie painting balastrades or major

  • #6

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 07 marzo 2019)

    Dear mr Lawson,
    Further to your question as to whether a pergola would fall under a minor building licence, As I have explained in my article, the following can be considered building work which require prior building licence:
    Any structural works or any works that may change the external appearance of any existing building.

    ..............It is considered to be minor works generally any which it is considered as such due to its simplicity and does not involve the modification of any structural element, changing the external appearance of its façade...........
    If you are installing a pergola the town hall may interpret that you are changing the appearance of the façade.
    Let me quickly add that this may be a strict manner of interpreting such regulation.
    I hope that this helps you.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #7

    David T (sábado, 13 abril 2019 23:00)


    We are looking to buy a plot of land that has planning permissions agreed. Does that planning permission in Spain (Malaga area) have an expiry date? Or a date when you would have to reapply for planning permissions?

    A response ASAP would be amazing.



  • #8

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 15 abril 2019 09:31)

    Hi David,
    Thank you for contacting Pacheco & Asociados.
    Planning permission are normally granted based on the General Plan. That is, the town planning plan that governs the whole municipality of a particular town. Theoretically. the government of that town (local elected politician) has the right to change the plan every four years, however this exercise implies a large expenditure taken the complication of elaborating an approving a complete planning of a the entire municipality so unless there is a specific need i.e. a large industry wants to establish itself in the municipality,a boom in construction and therefore a large demand por new land with planning permission this is not done. There are small towns that has had the same town planning for over twenty years.
    If you tell us which town you are referring to we might do further research and advice you in more detail.
    I hope thi is of help to you.

  • #9

    Sally Hirst (jueves, 25 abril 2019 21:24)

    There months ago I applied for a minor license to change the steps outside my village house. This resulted in a meeting with the technico and Secretary as they clearly couldn't decide who owned the small area of land; me or Publico. I was asked to provide my escritura and they took a copy. Since then I have heard nothing, despite emailing regularly. Does my application now fall into the 'automatic three month' rule I have heard about? Thank you.

  • #10

    MELVYN FOWKES (martes, 07 mayo 2019 13:39)

    Hi I am going to put a set of external metal stairs from my duplex down to my apartment one floor do I need planning of any sort THANK you mel

  • #11

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 09 mayo 2019 18:53)

    Hi Melvin,
    Thank you for contacting Pacheco & Asociados.
    Yes indeed, you do need a building licence (Licenca de Obras) from your local town hall because you are installing a structural element and because you are changing the view of you façade.

    I hope this is of help.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #12

    rose stott (martes, 14 mayo 2019 19:13)

    Do i need a lisence to change old windows in my 5th floor apartment - it does not change the appearance of the building

  • #13

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 15 mayo 2019 17:19)

    Hi Rose,,
    Thank you for contacting Pacheco & Asociados.
    You do need a building licence (Licenca de Obras) but it is a Minors building licence (Licencia de obra menor). You go to your local town hall to Urbanismo Department and tell them what you are going to do, they normally fill in the paperwork for you and you pay the tax that they calculate taking into account the number of windows and their sizes, normally the tax is about 4% of the cost of the windows.

  • #14

    William Andrew (martes, 11 junio 2019 17:06)

    I want to build a stone and mortar wall around our 16.000 M2 plot to secure.
    Their is a small boundary wall around our plot but needs to be replaced and built up
    The wall would be 6 foot in height and 1 foot wide
    What licence would i need ?

  • #15

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 12 junio 2019 18:29)

    Hi William,
    I would first contact the local town hall as I have my doubts that the y will allow a 6 feet high solid wall. Normally they allow a 1 m. solid wall and the rest up to 2 m with a perforated type of fence such as wired,sluts or a green hedge.
    You need a building licence for a fence (LIcencia de obra para un vallado).
    I hope that this is of help.

  • #16

    Rita (domingo, 14 julio 2019 00:40)

    Hello I am having a wall built around my property, it is the same as the next door neighbours, the builders have said it is fine, but someone else has said that I need planning permission as It is quite high and it could be knocked down.Please can you advise before it goes any further.

  • #17

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 17 julio 2019 12:34)

    Hi Rita,
    The reason that you neighbour may have a type of garden wall built doesn't necessarily mean that it complies with the local building regulation.
    Having said that; the general norm in Spain is that the garden solid walls should be around 1m tall and from there to about 2m should be built of a non-solid materials such as a trellis, slats, or green hedges.
    Best option is to ask at your local town hall before you proceed blindly.

    Better safe than sorry!!


  • #18

    GUY DE SAINT-CYR (martes, 23 julio 2019 23:53)

    HELLO, i HAVE 16000 SQUARE METERS RUSTIC Forestal in Marbella Sierra Blanca.
    Any idea what can I DO WITH IT?

  • #19

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 24 julio 2019 10:13)

    Sell it!!

  • #20

    Nicola (sábado, 27 julio 2019 10:11)

    I have a shed in my garden that needs replacing, I'd like a larger on to replace it, done need any permission to do this please?

  • #21

    Juan Pacheco (viernes, 02 agosto 2019)

    Hello Guy,

    Technically you do. Best thing is to visit you town hall building licence dept. (Licencias de obras) and ask. They may allow you to carry out that work with a minor's building licence (licencia de obra menor) and therefor you may not need a project for that.
    It will depend on the size of the shed.

  • #22

    Lisa wilson (martes, 10 septiembre 2019 22:14)

    Does a bolt together structure with bolt on roof panels , no foundations necessary . as it is possible to unbolt and remove at any time does this require permission ?


  • #23

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 11 septiembre 2019 09:41)

    Hi Lisa,
    I am afraid that you provide us little information....
    When you talk about a structure you don't specify what type of structure. Is it for a dwelling, a garage, does it have an enclosing shell, what will it be used for?

  • #24

    Lisa wilson (miércoles, 11 septiembre 2019 17:51)

    The structure will be galvanised metal posts which bolt together with special brackets similar to scaffolding . This would be situated between a garage wall and a brick wall with metal fencing along the top , meaning that only a roof will be added. No walls or enclosing will be added . The roofing would be dark brown corrugated bitumen sheet . The roof is to cover an area of 4m x 2 meters . The roof would cover a pool pump which happens to be there but the main purpose is to help protect building materials from the weather while the house is being reformed . Hope this helps you understand .

  • #25

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 12 septiembre 2019 10:15)

    Hi Lisa,
    Anything that is covered with a roof will need building licence I am afraid.
    From your description I would also take care that the future structure must keep a distance from the boundary wall. This distance depends on the location of the house in the municipality. It can range from 3 to 5m in the inner side of a town to 15 to 25m in rural areas.

  • #26

    Andy Taylor (domingo, 15 septiembre 2019 17:36)

    Hi, we have an existing pool which, due to my wife’s disability is hard for her to get into via the metal steps.
    We have spoken to a builder who can build in some steps and put in a handrail at the shallow end, however the pool will have to be extended by 1 m2 to accommodate the stairs. Would I need planning permission for this?



  • #27

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 16 septiembre 2019 09:42)

    Hi Andy,
    In theory you need a building licence, but the work required is so small that you could apply for "minor building licence" (Licencia de obra menor) which you do not need a project, only a description of the works and a contractors quote.
    Having said that, wouldn't be more economical to use a disabled lift?
    We all, are not getting any younger and it is something that you probably will have to install in the future so why not install it now and leave the pool as it is.
    I enclose a couple of links so that you can see what I mean.
    I hope that is of help.

  • #28

    Norberto (miércoles, 23 octubre 2019 22:49)

    Good evening,
    I came across your blogs and I'm wondering if you could point me in the right direction.
    I would like to buy a land with water, electricity and gas(Tierra/suelo urbanizado), to erect apartament building afterward.
    My question is, how do I look for " Tierra urbanizada", since most of online property agencies don't state if the land has water and electricity. I will appreciate advise on the subject.
    Kind Regards

  • #29

    Jimmy Banks (domingo, 10 noviembre 2019 15:38)

    Hi, Thanks for your time and knowledge on these various issues.
    I would like to install a wood burner in my basement. The chimney would go through two floors then exit on the master bedroom balcony.
    Do i need planning permission for this or do I just need to be sure that it fits within building regulations/ fire prevention. Would i need to have it inspected upon completion?

  • #30

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 11 noviembre 2019 10:51)

    Hi Jimmy,
    Theoretically you would require a "Minor building Licence" (Licencia de obra menor) which is obtained on the same day in the planning department (Departamento de Urbanismo) of your local town hall. You just tell them what you are going to do they value it and depending on the town you pay around 4% of the total cost of construction without VAT.
    No inspection is required, but we strongly recommend that you use a "certified" installer and you get a guarantee from the company.
    I hope that this is of help.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #31

    Melvyn (martes, 19 noviembre 2019 17:01)

    Hi I have 3 storey semi detached houses 2bed apparment on ground floor and duplex separate on top 2 floors rates have been paid on both for many years duplex 35 apparment probably 25 at local tax office they say it is extra accomadation for family and friends I think at the time father thought he had registered apparent but when he died even the house was not registered at Landrieu all that sorted but on deeds it says the ground floor is a she'd and workshop how do we get change of use
    THANK you mel

  • #32

    Melvyn (martes, 19 noviembre 2019 18:30)

    Hi just mention the structure is original no walls were altered when he finished the apartment thanks mel

  • #33

    Juan Pacheco (viernes, 22 noviembre 2019 19:14)

    Hi Melvyn,
    Is you property in Landrieu France?


  • #34

    Melvyn (domingo, 24 noviembre 2019 19:47)

    Hi no sorry tenerife canary islands spain

  • #35

    Melvyn (martes, 26 noviembre 2019 17:51)

    Hi I can see confusion it should say land registry

  • #36

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 26 noviembre 2019 19:10)

    Hi Melvyn,

    The best thing is to get in touch with a local architect to make the change of use.


  • #37

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 26 noviembre 2019 19:30)

    Hi Norberto,
    Land with all services installed is called "Solar urbano" but even so, I am afraid that there is no short cut. You must ask and verify that there is water and electricity are there.

    Juan Pàcheco

  • #38

    Susanne (sábado, 07 diciembre 2019 13:33)

    I want to change use of a kitchen to a bedroom & the end wall of my lounge into a kitchen. My appliances & furniture are free standing & electric. Where I would want the sink is the other side of the wall to where the sink is in the bedroom. Plus I want to replace the arch into the kitchen with a door.
    I presume this is a minor licence? Can you advise me please?

  • #39

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 09 diciembre 2019 10:43)

    Hi Susanne,
    Internal partitions removal and/or changing would not require a Major Building Licence.
    As long you don't interfere with any element in the façade.
    So a Minor building license will suffice.
    You need to calculate the square meters of partitions to demolish and to rebuild, square meters of floors or ceilings to change etc as you will pay a building licence tax based on the cost of that construction cost. Normally is about 4%.
    I hope that is of help.


  • #40

    Bob (sábado, 28 diciembre 2019 10:37)

    We are going to buy a house on rustic/rural land in Turre. It is a 10000m2 plot with over a 100 olive trees however, it lacks storage outside for the agricultural equipment (tractor/digger) required to manage this plot. Do you know if is possible to get planning permission to build a large metal shed on the property?

  • #41

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 31 diciembre 2019 10:47)

    One of the planning suppositions of building in a rural plot is that the house built is necessary to cater for the management of the agricultural land and therefor the necessity of having to shelter the machinery required for that end is complementary to the use of the land.
    Having said that, the size of the shelter should be proportional to 10.000m2 of the agricultural land. Normally there is construction index of about 2% for the total construction allowed meaning that you can build up to 200m2 but this depends on each town planning law so I would strongly recommend that that you visit the planning department in Turre (Oficina de Urbanismo) and specify the m2 of construction that you intend to build and where you intend to do it showing it on a simple sketch with approximate distance to boundary will suffice and request if that will be allowed.

    I hope that is of help.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #42

    Bob (viernes, 03 enero 2020 19:23)

    That is very helpful thank you. We will visit the planning department with our plan.

  • #43

    Martin (domingo, 26 enero 2020 14:33)

    We are in the process of buying an apartment that have been merged from two side-by-side apartments. The merge have been done in period of the last five years. It is located on the top floor with a roof terrace. The apartment and roof terrace have, in this period, been completely renovated. The apartments are, to our surprise, still registered as two separate properties in the Land Registry. Which documents do we need to require from the seller in order to make it a safe and future-proof purchase? Thank you for your advice.

  • #44

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 27 enero 2020 13:18)

    I think that written consent from the community of owners of the building should be a must together with the building license that was obtained to carry out the building work on the two apartments.
    Having said that this is more of legal question so I recommend that you obtain legal advice from a local solicitor.

  • #45

    Jim (jueves, 06 febrero 2020 21:34)

    I put a polycarbonate roof on to enclose an open utility area 15 years ago without planning permission. I am now selling the house, how would this effect the habitation certificate

  • #46

    Juan Pacheco (viernes, 07 febrero 2020 17:55)

    Hi Jim,

    It would very much depend on the professional that carry out the certificate. I would normally wouldn't take such small detail into account but there are colleagues who go by the book and may bring out that point.
    I am afraid that you will have to wait.

  • #47

    Vladimir Nikolov (miércoles, 26 febrero 2020 18:13)

    Hi Juan,

    I am building a wooden pergola(4x3.50m) on my asotea in Tenerife.It covers just 1/3rd of the roof.But would like to put on both open sides a sliding windows,so it stays open and if necessary closing it for weather.It is placed on the roof facing the street ,and not facing the community building.It doesn't obstruct the view from anywhere to anybody and is placed on a original wall.So,it is not a structure on a bare roof.Do I need minor or major licence to do that.?

    Thank you

  • #48

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 05 marzo 2020 17:14)

    Hello Vladimir,
    Although I am tempted to say that a "minor building licence" as it is a pergola (open a t the top I imagine) I would first consult it with the local town hall as you want to add side windows too.


  • #49

    John (domingo, 08 marzo 2020 08:26)

    Hi. I got my ne build house 11 years ago. It is a main house and a large garage with toil and shower (that really is a separate bungalow) but is described as a garage on the deeds. I have put an internal partition in this building to split the car pa r king space into two rooms. Externally. ....There is no change. I never plan to sell my property. Do I need to have this portion authorised?

  • #50

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 09 marzo 2020 09:41)

    Hi John,
    Almost any building work requires building licence whether a "MInors building license" or "Major building license" in this case it is a minors building licence. (Licencia menor de obras).

    Juan Pacheco

  • #51

    Anastasia Tattersall (lunes, 23 marzo 2020 01:00)

    Hi Juan,
    I recently bought a cuevas in Orce, Granada. It's been uninhabited for around 15yrs, and will need a full rewire (electric is available to connect) and to be connected to a drainage system. Firstly I assume this will be a Major Building License? Secondly, the plumbing isn't connected to the main drains. Would it be more cost effective to reconnect (although I suspect they were never actually connected) or should I install a septic tank? Which would you consider to be more cost effective in both the long and the short term? I appreciate there are a number of variables here but any advice would be appreciated! Muchas Gracias

  • #52

    Michael Mvadden (martes, 24 marzo 2020 10:22)

    Hi, I am thinking of installing three gabion walls in a sloping area of my garden. Each would be around 5 metres long and up to a 0.6 metre in height. They would not replace or create a boundary wall and are more for decoration and to allow planting in an area that is currently unattractive and difficult to maintain. Do I need a building licence? Thanks.

  • #53

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 24 marzo 2020 14:01)

    Hi Michael,

    You do require a minor building license (licencia de obra menor). In some municipalities there is a hedge license (licencia de vallado) which should be sufficient for your boundary wall.

  • #54

    Juan Pacheco (viernes, 27 marzo 2020 18:20)

    Good and safe day Anastasia.
    First, with regards to the building license, both the connection to the main sewers and new electrical wire layout would require major building license.
    I strongly recommend to connect to the main sewerage system unless...the distance to the connection point makes it economically unviable. It will be free of maintenance and less troublesome. Having said that you will have to valueof the investment required.


  • #55

    D wood (jueves, 21 mayo 2020 16:07)

    Hi there, would I need a minor building licence to install a pergola on my roof terrace, replacing existing toldos. Something like this.


  • #56

    Hi D wood (jueves, 21 mayo 2020 17:32)

    I think that any local contractor can obtain a small building licence for your pergola without having to appeal to an architect for that.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #57

    Ellen Gravestock (sábado, 23 mayo 2020 21:12)

    Can you advise how long on average it takes to obtain a building warrant to build a swimming pool in Fuerteventura please?

  • #58

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 25 mayo 2020 12:39)

    Hi Ellen,
    We don't normally work with the Fuenteventura town hall, however, the norm is about three months and possibly longer due to the pandemic situation.


  • #59

    Steve (miércoles, 10 junio 2020 13:33)

    We live on an urbanisation our neighbour has constructed a padel court which has walls constructed either end which are 4 metres in height with 2 metres of metal post & fencing on top of this ( walls are constructed of block with render) this is less than 1/2 metre at the nearest point of one end wall to the boundary wall there is no roof but court is 20 metres x 10 metres can you advise as to how we find out if this is built legally

  • #60

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 10 junio 2020 16:40)

    Hi Steve,

    The surest way is to contact your local town hall planning department (departmento de urbanismo) and tell them exactly what you you have described here.
    It would help if you draw a simple sketch. It could be hand drawn, showing the distances to the boundaries and specifying the heights of the wall. That will sufice.
    They will be able to inform you.
    I hope that is of help to you.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #61

    Paul Davis (miércoles, 15 julio 2020 17:49)

    I have applied to the Ayuntamiento for a license to add one bedroom to the roof of my house. The application was made in May 2019 and we have been told today it will probably be 2021 before the license is granted! I am 72 and have health problems, I could be dead before the license is issued, any ideas????

  • #62

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 15 julio 2020 17:58)

    Hi Paul,
    The main problem of working as an architect in Spain is not the client, the builder or suppliers but the town halls. They are my nightmare.
    You don't mention the town hall in question but some town halls are that bad. In this area of Alicante we have Orihuela as the worst.
    Patience and perseverance are the only advice that I can provide.
    Sorry that I can't be that helpful .
    Juan Pacheco

  • #63

    Pauley (jueves, 16 julio 2020 14:09)

    We have 2. very tall trees in our yard near the house. one has roots running towards house and has raised the concrete . We need to know what form needs to be submitted to cut this one down and shorten the other. we have have experiencing very high winds and tree in neighbouring garden uprooted. we are in Monserrat Valencia non urbanised property.

    Much thanks

  • #64

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 16 julio 2020 16:49)

    Hi Pauley,
    You haven't stated how large or old are the trees that you are going to cut down or prun .
    Obviously there are no problem in pruning any privately owned tree but the general planning law of Montserrat (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana PGOU) http://politicaterritorial.gva.es/auto/urbanismo/reg-planeamiento/4%20VALENCIA/46172%20MONTSERRAT/1%20P.%20GENERAL/46172-1000%20PG%202015-0087/3%20NORMAS/46172-1000%202015-0087%20NORMAS%20I_NNUU.pdf in its article 2.7.23 it states that any publicly or privately owned trees that are cut down shoul be replaced by new ones. I don't know how strict the town hall will be on this aspect, so the most prudent thing to do is to approach the planning department (Oficina de Urbanismo) and take with you some pictures of the trees and ask them.
    I hope that this is of help to you.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #65

    Chris M (lunes, 17 agosto 2020 15:23)

    Good afternoon,

    A villa opposite ours is being renovated, and converted into what we think may be a small hotel / hostel.

    We are within an urbanization, and primary use of the plot is residential RVUA but also tourism / hotel uses are acceptable. We have found the below references to certificates on the Geoportal , but cannot see any detail of the use of the plot after refurbishment, or any plans online. Do you know how we could find the details / plans of the development? Should they be online? or do we need to go to the Town Hall? The builders told us that they are removing some of the very large trees, which we are not happy with, but they said that they have permission from the Town Hall, and also we are worried that they will install a swimming pool close to their boundary (all other villas have pools on the other side of the houses).

    Also, we are immediately opposite - was there any requirement for consultation with neighbours? We only became aware after builders came on site.

    Total: 4
    04/06/2020-2020/OBMAY/00058-6322804BC6862S0001LI-DR05 - L01 - Obra Mayor
    19/05/2020-2020/OBMAY/00051-6322804BC6862S0001LI-DR05 - L01 - Obra Mayor
    29/11/2019-2019/CDON/00101-6322804BC6862S0001LI-Certificado Declaración de Obra Nueva
    18/09/2019-2019/CVT/01167-6322804BC6862S0001LI-C00 - C01 - C03- Certificados Varios

    Thank you.

  • #66

    Sonia (sábado, 22 agosto 2020 18:58)

    We would like to buy a metal garage to keep our classic car dry etc, it will need a concrete base also. Our villa is on a plot of land approx 4000 m and no neighbours close by. Would I need planning permission to erect this type of structure and also a building license?

  • #67

    Kim (domingo, 23 agosto 2020 21:33)

    Hello, we have a 10 hectare agricultural property. Approximately 300 almond trees and 25 olive trees all on stone worked terraces. Much of the stone is crumbling or have crumbled, Some right down to the base stones. Do I need permissions/ liecense to reconstruct/repair/rebuild these terraces using traditional stone work?

  • #68

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 25 agosto 2020 13:27)

    Hi Kim,
    The theoretical reply to your question is yes.
    You need a building licence (Licencia de obra menor) you can obtain this from your local town hall (Departamento de Urbanismo). If you have a rough idea of the length of the walls and heights they can work out the tax to be paid on the spot. That is if they want to be helpful.

  • #69

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 25 agosto 2020 13:30)

    Hi Sonia,

    I am afraid that to intent and purposes you will need a building licence as if you were going to build a normal garage. (Licencia de obra mayor) You will require the assistance of a local architect to do that.

  • #70

    Kim (jueves, 27 agosto 2020 21:50)

    Thank you Juan for your reply about "theoretically" needing a licence to "reconstruct, rebuild, repair" these 200 plus year old stone terrace walls. What confuses me more now is how and what is the tax calculated. The stone is there already, only fallen down/collapsed. I don't need to purchase anything. I will be doing it myself as I have the skills and experience. So I am not paying for labour. Is there a specific price per meter, hight and length they will charge me? All my terrace walls are of different heights and lengths. The reality there are hundreds of meters in need of either repair or reconstruction. This farm has a 200 plus years of history. I hope the local town hall looks favourably on preserving and restoring its agricultural/architectural history. Even if they are just terrace walls.

  • #71

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 31 agosto 2020 09:52)

    Hello Chris,
    The best and shortest way to find out about your neighbours is to visit your local town hall and show your concern for the development next door. They should be able to answer most of your questions,

  • #72

    Peter (viernes, 18 septiembre 2020 11:51)

    Hi, I purchased a property in February in Fuerteventura. On the estate agent information it was advertised as two bedrooms. When checking the deeds it is a one bedroom and alterations had been made prior to me buying. What do I need to do?

  • #73

    Juan Pacheco (viernes, 18 septiembre 2020 12:18)

    Hi Peter,
    If you intend to resale the property immediately you could change the deeds to reflect the fact that now the property has two bedrooms. For that you need to visit your local notary and follow their advice.
    However let me add that lots of property in Spain are in similar situation and they lived happily ever after..

    Juan Pacheco

  • #74

    Peter (viernes, 18 septiembre 2020 12:24)

    Thank you Juan, I am not looking at a resale but will visit the notary to get the deeds changed.

  • #75

    Russell (martes, 03 noviembre 2020 08:45)

    Hi - if someone wants to build a new casa on neighbouring (rural) land in Granada province, how far must the new building be from my border. I believe it is a minimum of 50 metres if a nave and 70 meters if a casa. Thank you.

  • #76

    Michele Fowler (martes, 03 noviembre 2020 18:01)

    We live adjacent to our next door neighbour and there has always been a small path separating us from their house. Recently I heard a lot of banging against our wall and drilling as well. Now I hear voices and music playing and wonder if they have built against our house. We have received no notification if they have, and it is difficult for us to access the our roof to see if this is so. We don't know who owns the house, as it has been empty for many years, used only as a party venue. Would there be a planning application at the local town hall? Thank you.

  • #77

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 03 noviembre 2020 18:31)

    Hi Michele,
    To find out whether your neighbour has done the correct thing is to pop down to your local town hall amd ask them. Failing that you could obtain a Planning certificate from the town hall on your property "Certificado Urbanístico". In that certificate it is specify what you can and can not build on your plot, and hence on your neighbour's plot

    I hope that you find this information useful.


  • #78

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 03 noviembre 2020 18:40)

    Hi Russel,
    The construction distances to boundary lines depends on the local planning conditions of the municipality.
    There are is no standard set of conditions for Spain. In fact each town have their own conditions depending on the actual area within that municipality. The only way to find out is to follow the advice I have given to Michele Fowler in this blog:
    "Pop down to your local town hall amd ask them. Failing that you could obtain a Planning certificate from the town hall on your property "Certificado Urbanístico". In that certificate it is specify what you can and can not build on your plot, and hence on your neighbour's plot"

    Good luck


  • #79

    Steve Green (martes, 01 diciembre 2020 12:15)

    We want to erect a wooden shed 6 metres square in our community to be used as a bar. We have permission from Sareb to use the plaza here. What licenses do we need to build this.



  • #80

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 01 diciembre 2020 17:07)

    Hi Steve,
    To build any type of building you need a to obtain a building licence from the your local town hall even if it is a shed.
    With regards to have the permission from the SAREB, to use the plaza let me inform you that the SAREB is a digital platform to send and receive information from local authorities. You probably have permission from the local town hall?
    Juan Pacheco

  • #81

    Steve (martes, 01 diciembre 2020 17:51)

    Hi Juan,

    Sareb is the bank that now holds the deeds to the properties on here after Polaris world went into administration. We have been dealing with a Miguel from Sareb in Murcia. I believe we need the following to build the shed and to serve drinks?
    Proyecto básico de ejecución de Kiosco-Bar
     Certificado final de obra de ejecución de Kiosco-Bar
     Proyecto de licencia de actividad inocua de Kiosco-Bar

  • #82

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 01 diciembre 2020 18:11)


    Ahhh.. that Sareb!! My apologies.

    Yes, you are correct. That is what you will require.


  • #83

    Steve (martes, 01 diciembre 2020 20:14)

    Is this a service you provide and if so what approximate cost is involved

  • #84

    eve young (martes, 01 diciembre 2020 21:09)

    I installed a woodburning stove 8 years ago with the chimney about 8 ft high as in single story houde. should I have had a license?

  • #85

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 02 diciembre 2020 11:10)

    Hi Eve,

    Theoretically yes, but since it has been installed 8 years ago and supposing that you had not had the local authorities complaining I would allow another two years to go by, so that no fine can be issued by the council.

    Juan Pacheco.

  • #86

    Steve (jueves, 07 enero 2021 12:53)

    Hi Juan was looking to ask how high can a secondary construction can be on urbanisation in Valencia region & how far from boundary does this need to be ?

  • #87

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 07 enero 2021 12:59)

    It depends from the municipal authorities (Local town hall) but normally it is 3m. from boundaries and 5m from the road. But as I said this varies with each town hall.


  • #88

    Steve (jueves, 07 enero 2021 15:03)

    Hi Juan how tall can they be in relation to distance from boundary ?

  • #89

    Steve (jueves, 07 enero 2021 15:58)

    Hi Juan , sorry I forgot to ask how tall can a secondary building be at 2.25 metres from boundary It’s a padel court with block & render end walls .

  • #90

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 07 enero 2021 17:48)

    Once it complies with the distance from the boundary it can be as high as the construction allowed on the plot.

  • #91

    Alexi Chom (miércoles, 13 enero 2021 17:53)

    Hello, is there a document that I can find cycle parking requirements for commercial developments in Madrid and Barcelona? I would like to understand the quantities of cycle parking spaces that are required. Thanks

  • #92

    Jason (jueves, 21 enero 2021 19:46)

    We want to put up a poly urn new in our garden. It’s 8m long x 5m wide.
    Would I need permission for this as there is no base and no concrete is being used?
    Many thanks.

  • #93

    Jason (jueves, 21 enero 2021 19:47)

    The above is meant to say polytunnel.

  • #94

    mark Jones (domingo, 24 enero 2021 15:10)

    My garden has slipped away into a valley at the end of my property due to the bad rains . I want to build a retaining wall to stop this , before my swimming pool ends up in the valley .
    The valley is owned by the town . Do I need to build the retaining wall 3mt back from my boarder ?
    or does this only apply to property borders ?

  • #95

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 25 enero 2021 19:14)

    Hi Mark,

    When it comes to retaining walls in principle you don't have to set up the wall 3m from the boundary but this shouldn't be more than 1m higher that the ground level. However this depends if the public ground is a specially protected area.
    Best is to contact the local town hall and ask.

    I hope this is of help.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #96

    Shaz Green (jueves, 28 enero 2021 12:13)

    Our new neighbour is doing major work on their property next door. We have attached fincas. We own an attached outbuilding (1 room up and down on our side) access our side via our courtyard. They have access to theirs on their land. They were originally going to keep their side for fear of demolishing ours accidentally when knocking theirs down. Now their architect has said their side is structurally unsound so needs to come down which means ours should be demolished aswell.(he said would be cheaper for them to rebuild than repair) Where do we stand with this? Should we obtain planning for this or will it be covered under theirs but what about compensation? We were planning to repair and renovate ours. They have a timescale as have a large plot to flatten and possibly rebuild some of the dilapidated buildings. We need to get our answer.to them fairly quickly but this is something to think about. Any advice gratefully received.

  • #97

    Sergio Garcia-Huidobro (domingo, 31 enero 2021 18:15)

    En un predio rural cerca de Tarragona de casi 5Ha con una casa, es posible poner unos pods geodésicos (8-10m diámetro / estructuras temporales-livianas) sin necesidad de permiso?

  • #98

    Christine Love (domingo, 31 enero 2021 19:58)

    My community in Malaga city want to install a lift and have chosen a location in front of my bedroom window . What are the restrictions regarding distance from windows . It will ruin my light and my privacy .

  • #99

    Nikki Bradbury (jueves, 04 febrero 2021 17:09)

    Hi Juan, we have recently bought a detached villa in Mojacar and want to convert part of the flat roof into a roof terrace. Do we need planning for this as we will need to install an external staircase and a terrace ballast fade around the terrace.

  • #100

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 febrero 2021 18:40)

    Hi Shaz,
    Anyone who inflicts a damage to another party should pay for the damage. This in a broad sense is the golden rule that we have in construction. Having said that I am no lawyer so it is better to obtain legal advice on the issue.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #101

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 febrero 2021 18:44)

    Hola Sergio.

    Cualquier construcción necesita licencia de obra a no ser que sea muy liviana en esencia y pueda ser desmontada si lo pide el ayuntamiento. Mejor es llevar planos de la estructuras al ayuntamiento y preguntar.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #102

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 febrero 2021 18:49)

    Hi Christine,
    I don't know the actual building regulation for Málaga but as a general rules there should be a minimum clear distance of 3m in front of an existing window.
    Perhaps a visit to you local town hall to the Planning department. ("Oficina de Urbanismo") take a plan or pictures with you and explain the situation, they normally speak English.


  • #103

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 febrero 2021 19:03)

    Hi Polytunnel,
    I would consider that as garden tackle and as long as is not too high and does not infringe on the neighbours view and would think that no building licence is required. However is best to ask at the town hall just in case.


  • #104

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 febrero 2021)

    Hi Nikki,
    I think that most probably you do need a building licence due to the fact that the stairs and the landing are structural elements.


  • #105

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 febrero 2021 19:29)

    Hi Alexi Chom,
    The only document that I have been able to find in Madrid and you could obtain similar one for Barcelona is the: COMPENDIO NORMAS URBANÍSTICAS PLAN GENERAL DE ORDENACIÓN URBANA DE MADRID DE 1997. In its page 312 it says that provision for bicycles should be provided of 0.5 unit to 1 unit of parking per every 100m2 of construction. The difference between 0.5 and 1 depends on the type of commercial development.

  • #106

    Gary Quail (domingo, 07 febrero 2021 12:29)

    I’m looking at buying a plot in the elche region, the estate agent says I can put a movable house on the plot ie a house that doesn’t have a foundation.
    My question is if that is true do I still need licenses or permits from the townhall to place this type of house on the plot ?
    Best regards
    Gary Quail

  • #107

    Juan Pacheco (domingo, 07 febrero 2021 12:53)

    Hi Gary,
    This is a tricky question and I explain myself why.
    The idea is that the caravan should be installed in a temporary fashion to site.
    And that will depends on how you connect the caravan to the services of water drainage, electricity etc. If it is on a permanent basis or not.
    The acid test is if a local official ask you to remove the caravan could you it in question of minutes?
    If the caravan is on wheels is a big advantage but I am afraid that it will be best to get the town hall architect personal interpretation of the regulation.
    Bet is to get the estate agent to obtain a certificate from the town hall certifying that it will be no problem to install you own personal caravan before you buy the land.
    I hope that is of help.


  • #108

    Gary (domingo, 07 febrero 2021 13:18)

    Hi Juan
    Thank you very much
    It would be more like a tiny house and no services ie no water electricity or sewage so the house would be completely self sufficient on the edge of a village. But your idea of the estate agent to obtain the certificate of a good idea. Yes I think every townhall is different

  • #109

    Andrea (sábado, 13 febrero 2021 00:12)

    Hello, for my clarification. If we install a wooden pergola , no roof but only cana, on our terrasse, that could be desmontar very easily, we would still need to have a license? If I cover my roof terrasse that unfortunately has a water problem with an additional layer of covers I would need a license too? Thanks, A

  • #110

    Juan Pacheco (sábado, 13 febrero 2021 10:46)

    Hi Andrea,

    I consider that a pergola made of cañas can be treated as awning and therefore do not require building licence. The main point here to understand that any light structure that can be disassembled easily and do not obstruct the neighbours view do not require building licence.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #111

    Andrea (sábado, 13 febrero 2021 11:44)

    Thanks, that helps. no neighbors affected, is in the campo with a distance to our well known neighbors and it is purely for sun protection, good advice, Andrea

  • #112

    Bronwyn (lunes, 15 febrero 2021 11:16)


    I’m looking at buying a property on rustic land. The house is 2 stories of wooden construction 80m2. The land is 25000m2, fenced, solar panels, mains water.
    I have successfully found it on the catastral register with the house as ‘living place’ does this make it legal to live in? (I will request habitation cert)

    Also, if I wanted to add an additional building temporary or not as a tourist rental is this possible as the current house is under the maximum size for the plot.

    Many thanks Bronwyn

  • #113

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 17 febrero 2021 13:08)

    Hi Bronwyn,

    It all depends how old is the property and whether the previous owner has obtained a habitation certificate recently.
    With regards to your second question you have answered yourself by saying... "the current house is under the maximum size for the plot"
    Obviously you can not exceed the maximum size of the plot.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #114

    Dale Slater (jueves, 25 febrero 2021 18:54)

    Hi , I've got a plot of land 2600sqm with water and electricity close by,I'm thinking of putting a wooden chalet on of approximately 64m2, do I need planning permission?

  • #115

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 25 febrero 2021 19:28)


  • #116

    Steve (martes, 02 marzo 2021 13:56)

    Are there any rules regarding light trespass in Valencia region, my neighbour has a paddle court with 4 large floodlights upon it 2 either side although not shining directly on our property because of their height (approx 6 to 7 metres) when they are on our whole property is lit by the lights which is visible in all rooms at the rear, & sitting on the terrace would be impossible due to the glare from them .
    Regards Steve

  • #117

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 04 marzo 2021 13:29)

    Hi Steve,

    You haven't specified your actual location but normally there are local regulations on light pollution called " Normativa de Contaminació lumínica" which it spells out what it can or it can not be done. In this circumstances the best method would to approach your neighbour and discuss the problem with him/her. A simple grill on the spot light might suffice to solve the problem.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #118

    Declan (miércoles, 17 marzo 2021 18:52)

    I'm changing the kitchen and the gallery roof in my small house in Torrevieja. No external changes - just updating it all. Do I need a permit?

  • #119

    Juan Pacheco (jueves, 18 marzo 2021 17:37)

    HiI Declan,

    Yes, you would require a "small works building licence" (Licencia de obra Menor). Normally this type of licence is granted on the spot by filling up an official form with a description of the works and paying the building licence fees. Please note that in some Councils the works descriptions may be checked first by the town hall architect and will take longer.

  • #120

    John Reseigh (sábado, 27 marzo 2021 11:43)

    We are planning to enclose our outside terrace area which is 220cm x 185cm. we already have the 2 side walls so it is just the frontage which will be a door and 2 windows with panels underneath. Would we need a Licencia de Obra Mayor to do this work?

  • #121

    Steve (miércoles, 31 marzo 2021 17:03)

    Hi Pacheco we live on san Cristobal urbanisation in Alberic my question was number 116 relating to light trespass from spotlights, do you know if Alberic has normative de contaminacio luminica?
    Regards Steve.

  • #122

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 05 abril 2021 18:34)

    Hi John,
    I am afraid that you do because when you enclose the other two side you are increasing the total covered built area and thus increasing the total area of your property.
    A pain, I know.


  • #123

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 05 abril 2021 18:56)

    Hi again Steve,
    I have checked all the regulation of Alberic Town Hall and although they have one specific against noise. I haven't seen one against light pollution.

  • #124

    David bevan (martes, 04 mayo 2021 21:51)

    Hi Juan
    I wonder if you could give me some advise please,I live on a community complex in Lanzarote play blanca
    Unfortunately the complex in made up of 98 houses ,51 of them are rented accommodation,the renters not all of them have decided to build mainly fences around there properties encroaching on community land to build there fences my question is do these people need a obra mentor from the town hall the president has not given permission to build these fences and seem powerless to stop them ,we have a community meeting next week and I would like to know where we stand thank you very much

  • #125

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 05 mayo 2021 10:15)

    Hi David,

    Independently of whether they need permission from the town hall which they do, they are building on community land, land which belongs to the whole community, and only the community can allow any construction there. The problem I think is worse because I presume that the reason that they building these fences is to privatize to some degree communal spaces. Something which is forbidden.
    Apart from that, I think that there regulations in Lanzarote planning law that established what type of fence are allowed to be built making special mentioning to the height of of solid walls allowed.
    I think that the president is empowered to ask the administrator to provide notices to those owners that have broken the regulation to reinstate the spaces to it original state without fences.
    Having said all that, your administrator should know all this better than I do.
    Last. Is always advisable that any decision taken should be supported in a General Annual Meeting.

    Juan Pacheco

  • #126

    David bevan (miércoles, 05 mayo 2021 13:34)

    Thank you again Juan for your advice, it is most helpful. If that happens, and they are told by the administration, the president etc to remove the fences, and they refuse, what is the next action - that is what we predict will happen. Would we need to approach the town hall for enforcement? I understand you are not a lawyer and may be unable to answer, but I wonder if you had experienced this type of situation in the past?
    Your aye
    David bevan

  • #127

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 05 mayo 2021 18:21)

    Hi again David,

    Community of owners have a very strong status under Spanish law. You don’t need the enforcement of the town hall who would not get involved in neighbours’ litigations.
    Once you have a clear mandate from your general annual meeting you can take that mandate to a judge who will normally enforce it without much problem.
    I am surprised that your administrator is not advising so on this matter.


  • #128

    David bevan (jueves, 06 mayo 2021 01:56)

    Thank you Juan
    We really appreciate your input
    Yours aye

  • #129

    Patrick Baker (martes, 11 mayo 2021 19:59)

    Hola, Juan
    I’m looking to buy an old, rustic, stable type property on beautiful Asturian or Cantabrian rural land.
    Can I normally assume that I would not be able to change this to a home/casa, please?
    Thank you, for your help!

  • #130

    Juan Pacheco (miércoles, 12 mayo 2021 19:09)

    Hi Patrick,

    It is a good question I must say. Normally we have here a combination of two factors which are decisive for the local authorities to consider.
    One is what is called in the Spanish planning law "Cambio de uso" (change of use) I am supposing the case where there is a stable but no house. In that case an application to the local authority for changing the use would be the appropriate action to take.
    Supposing that the stable also has a living quarters in that case all you need to do is to apply for a rehabilitation building licence.
    Please note that now days the local authorities takes into account the amount of land which is vinculated to the building. So I am afraid that a trip to local town hall would be called for. "Departamento de urbanismo" (Planning office) and ask. My recommendation is that you take with you the Cadastral reference of the property so that they can identify it.
    I hope that is of help.

  • #131

    Patrick Baker (sábado, 15 mayo 2021 13:39)

    Muchos gracias, Juan!"

  • #132

    Margaret (lunes, 24 mayo 2021 09:58)

    Hello my neighbour is talking about breaking the walls down between two bedrooms to make one big bedroom does he need planning permission for this

  • #133

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 24 mayo 2021 18:17)

    Hi Margaret,

    Your neighbour would need to obtain a Minor's Building Licence "Licencia de Obra Menor".
    This is simplified building licence which can be obtained by simply filling a form stipulating the sq, m. od works and paying the relevant tax. Depending on the town hall this licence can be obtained ipso facto if the tax is paid by bank transfer.

  • #134

    David (domingo, 20 junio 2021 19:27)

    Hi. I am thinking of buying a villa at a site called El Romeral which is around 15 minutes drive from Baza. It is a four bedroom villa with a small outbuilding on the land which I am thinking of converting into a separate apartment but this will need upgrading and extending. I intend to rent out the villa for tourists and live in the converted outbuilding. I also want to build a garage at the front of the property and excavate a further part of the front garden to create a hard standing for my 24ft yacht where I wish to store it during the 'off' season. The front garden of the house is walled and looks over countryside with an access road in front. The plot is a total of around 900 sq metres. Do I need major planning certificates for all the work? Many thanks...

  • #135

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 21 junio 2021 10:00)

    Hi David,

    Yes. Is the short answer.

    You require a major building license (Licencia de obra mayor).
    A full project of the existing and proposed buildings have to be presented at the Baza Town hall.



  • #136

    dean phibbs (lunes, 21 junio 2021 20:48)

    Hello thank you for all of the information provided above. I am buying some land in castellon and we are hoping to put some sort of tented structure up for renting out. Like glamping domes. There will be only a timber base so no foundation and water from a cistern connected and toilet to a septic tank. I have found it hard to get information on licencing and permission to erect one or a few of these structures. What would you're thought be?

  • #137

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 22 junio 2021 09:42)

    Hi Dean,
    This was a very common question that I used to get when I was council architect many years ago.
    My thoughts now now as it was then is that any structure which can not be disassembled on the spot such as a camping tent, most likely will be considered as a building. especially if it is connected to a sewer system.
    A quick visit to the Castellón town hall will dissipate any doubt on the subject.


  • #138

    dean phibbs (martes, 22 junio 2021 10:13)

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have one more similar question if that is ok. What is the general outlook on trailer accommodation. If it has wheels and can be moved instantly. Would we need licencing for those also?

  • #139

    Juan Pacheco (martes, 22 junio 2021 12:24)

    Hi again Dean,

    Wheels change the situation because you can remove the home almost instantly. So no building license is required. Please note that if you intention is to open a business by having a caravan camping site you must apply for an Opening License.



  • #140

    John Onken (domingo, 27 junio 2021 15:56)

    Juan: I appreciate all of your free blog advice. My first question is regarding height measurement of houses. I see many houses built up on a stone 'plinth', but how is the additional height attributed to the 7 meter limit? Is the ground plane effectively raised to the height of the plinth, and then you start the 7 meter height or is the height limit established as the original land regardless of the earthworks we do? My second question is how a 'tree' is defined in terms of protection on a site- is it by minimum trunk diameter or by plant species or local discretion here in Javea? many thanks

  • #141

    Juan Pacheco (lunes, 28 junio 2021 10:02)

    Hi John,
    Normally the maximum height allowed is measured from the finish road outside to the undersided of the roof slab or floor slab.
    In the link below it gives you access to Jávea Planning bylaws:
    In this Jávea General plan (Planning bylaws) see its article 8.1.17 ALTURA DE LA LÍNEA DE CORNISA. it says;
    "It is the vertical distance measured in meters from the surface of the pavement in an urban environment or of the land in its original natural state, up to the lower face of the slab that forms the roof of the last floor or to the bottom of the sloped roof Measuring height will be made according to the criteria of article 8.1.23. In extensive building,
    when due to its topographic configuration it is necessary to fill in the original terrain for
    the drainage of rainwater by gravity to the road,it is allowed the measurement the the underside of the roof slab to the height of the modified terrain"
    So in your situation if you don't have a finished road by the building it is taken the original ground unless you have modified the original ground to allow the rain water to flow to the adjacent street.

    Regarding the trees.
    In the last page of the mentioned bylaws is the list of the protected trees in Jávea. There are only 5 protected trees, all of them are olive trees the smallest one has a trunk perimeter of 5.35m and a height of 6.5m.

    I hope that is of help


  • #142

    Jason (martes, 17 agosto 2021)

    Hi Juan,
    I’ve searched everywhere for an answer to this. I have a large polytunnel, 8m x6m I want to put up in my garden. I’m in the campo with no neighbours. Do I need an obra for this?
    Many thanks

  • #143

    Juan (martes, 17 agosto 2021 09:25)

    Hi Jason,
    One of the main reason to grant a building license to a building work is the permanency of the structure built. I do presume that the polytunnel can be disassembled should it be required?
    For example, no building license is required to pitch up a camping tent and I would argue it that way. Having said that I am worried about the area that you intent to cover, nearly 50m2 which could lead to a different interpretation from the local council architect.. Maybe a trip to "Urbanismo" (local planning office at the town hall) with a hand sketch of your structure could dissipate any doubt. Do insist in the temporality of your structure.

  • #144

    Mark (martes, 17 agosto 2021 13:14)

    Hi, I need some advice. I have received a fine of 8000 euros from the municipality because it seems my builder has been invading the pavement area outside the property. They have not got any permits to keep any material or other on the pavement. So now I have to pay for this!?Am I responsible for this permit or is the builder?

  • #145

    Juan (martes, 17 agosto 2021 16:52)

    Hi Mark,
    I am sorry to hear about that.
    It seems to be a very high fine for something which it seems so insignificant.
    If you wish you can send me a copy of the fine so that I can study it it in more detail.
    There will be no charge for that of course.


Al ser imposible conocer en profundidad cada caso, todos los consejos y contestaciones a la preguntas realizadas en este blog, los consejos dados son propiciado en términos generales por lo que se deberá contrastar con el asesoramiento privado de un abogado  y/o un arquitecto para estudiar en profundidad su caso.

As it is impossible to know in detail every case asked in this blog all our replies are given in good faith but we strongly suggest that you obtain private advice from a solicitor /and /or  architect who will be able to study in depth your own particular case.