Illegal buildings will now prescribe after fifteen years in the Valencia region.
The recent publication of the new Valencia planning law, the 5/2014 law of 25 of July, of the Valencia Government, so call "Land management, urban planning and landscape, of the Valencia Region from now on the LOTUP, has come into force on the 20th of August of this year, introduces several new features. One of the most attention-grabbing one is that makes reference to the prescription of illegal buildings, which increases the time to be "legalized" from 4 to 15 years.
In forced from the 20th of August of this year.
In its article 236, paragraph 1, says that "provided that have not elapsed more than fifteen years since the total completion of the works or land uses built without license or planning permission or comply with the conditions laid down therein, the local town hall´s mayor will require the owner so that, within the period of two months, present the application form (together with the appropriate project) to obtain its planning permission or adjust the existing construction to the conditions of the licence granted." The referred period of expiration of the administration action (15 years) will begin to count from the total completion of the works.
Two month to legalize it!!
Therefore, in homes built without planning permission or built with the correct planning permission but later on illegal extensions or works have been carried out on them, cannot be legalized before the 15 years period from the completion of the works that resulted in such illegality.
But in addition, there are some circumstances in which it is not possible to legalize even if the 15 years has elapsed, which it is mentioned in point 5 of the same article: "the term of fifteen years referred to shall not apply to the actions that have been carried out on land in green zones planning zones, road, open spaces or public spaces reserved for public buildings uses, land or buildings belonging to the public domain or are included in the General inventory of the Valencia Cultural Heritage, or on land which is subject to special protection, for which there is no expiration date of the action, in terms of the possibility of restoration to its initial state of legality ".
15 years of illegality does not translate into a legal building.
Please note the fact that the 15 years have elapsed does not mean that building/s become/s legalized automatically. A project to legalize the building must be presented to the local authorities according to article 237: "the mere course of the term of fifteen years referred to in the preceding article not entail legalization of the works or constructions carried out without complying with the planning legality and, therefore as long as the violation of the planning conditions persists, no work may be allowed such as renovation extension or consolidation of the illegal construction. This is so, in order to reduce the negative impact of these constructions and buildings on the environment, allowing only the execution of the works which may be necessary to secure the structure, health conditions and the maintenance of the façade or the immediate surrounding environment".
A solution to illegal clusters of buildings.
Among other issues, the cited planning law aims to give legal solution to the existence of hubs of scattered chalets built on land without planning permission; as it could not be otherwise, given the fact that most of these constructions, although illegal, were consolidated legally and had passed the old deadline of the 4 years so that the local authorities could not take punitive actions and request the restoration of its planning legality.
The proliferation of this type of construction made it necessary to adopt appropriate legislative measures to solve a multitude of problems that local authorities had on their hands.
Firstly, this law tries to legalize, these clusters, to avoid a further deterioration of the environment, since most of these nuclei do not have a sewerage network or only dispose of a minimum urban infrastructure.
At the same time, with these legislative developments, the law is trying to solve a serious social and political problem for the municipalities that were forced to pursue administrative and criminally those neighbours, owners of buildings, whose 4 years period was not over.
Finally and although the law does not state it, does establish an orderly manner to raise more taxes and fees to a considerable number of houses which largely remained on the sidelines of the tax system.