New Land Laws In Andalucia

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Guidelines for Building Houses on Rustic Land in Andalusia:

Since 2002, construction in Andalusia has faced restrictions, and in certain instances, it was rendered impossible. Governed by the old law, the LOUA, building activities were confined to either agricultural or tourism purposes. Over the course of two decades, both locals and foreigners grappled with challenges in realizing their aspirations. However, a legislative shift occurred in December 2022 with the approval of the new law, the LISTA, which introduced newfound opportunities. Within this guide, you'll discover comprehensive information regarding permissible constructions on rural land in Andalusia.

Understanding Rustic Land:

Rustic land encompasses all areas outside of urban zones, also known as suelo rústico or suelo no urbanizable in Spanish. In Andalusia, rustic land is categorized into four primary types:

Suelo No Urbanizable Común: Characterized by rural and natural attributes without special protection.
Suelo No Urbanizable Diseminado: Pertaining to rural settlements evolving from agricultural functions.
Suelo No Urbanizable con Protección: Designated with special protection, such as archaeological, environmental, or historical significance.
Suelo No Urbanizable Preservada: Classified as highly protected land, including natural parks or areas adjacent to rivers, lakes, or the sea, as well as land designated for specific agricultural purposes.
For lands categorized as 'Común,' more development possibilities exist compared to those with protective designations. However, in areas like Natural Parks or near water bodies, construction remains prohibited.

Determining the nature of rustic land you own or intend to purchase can typically be achieved through your municipality's website or by scheduling a meeting with the urban planning department.

Permissible Constructions on Rustic Land:

Under the LISTA, there is a distinction between regular and extraordinary uses. Extraordinary use now encompasses the construction of private residences, subject to specific conditions.

Regular Use (usos ordinarios):

Construction directly related to land use—such as for agriculture, livestock, forestry, hunting, or mining—is permitted. This includes all necessary infrastructure like houses and barns, provided the necessity is justified through a proposal (proyecto de actuación) approved by authorities. With an approved plan, building licenses can be obtained.

Presenting a proyecto de actuación was also feasible under the previous law, the LOUA. Approval for private residences historically depended on proving absolute necessity to reside on the land for conducting activities. Constructing luxury villas solely for leisure purposes was and remains invalid.
Extraordinary Use (uso extraordinario):
If the intended construction's purpose deviates from land characteristics, it falls under extraordinary use. LISTA permits the construction of private residences and other structures related to tourism or alternative activities. However, projects must demonstrate contributions to public or social interests and rural development. Pre-approval of the project is mandatory before applying for a building license. Examples of constructions permissible under this category include residences, tourism facilities, industrial or office buildings.
Given the 'extraordinary' nature of such projects, municipalities may demand additional compensation alongside licensing costs and could impose usage time restrictions. It's advisable to engage with the urban department to clarify approval guidelines, compensation terms, and usage limitations.

Guidelines for Building Houses on Rustic Land in Andalusia:

Specific regulations delineate the requirements for constructing homes on rustic land in Andalusia. Essential criteria include:

Minimum land size of 25,000m² for land without protection and 50,000m² for forested land.
Maximum building allowance of 1% (0.5% on protected land), encompassing all structures.
House placement at least 25m from plot boundaries and 100m from other residences.
Only one house permitted per plot.
Segregation of larger plots must be justified by agricultural use or legal issues with ownership.
Prohibited creation of new hamlets or communities.
Flat land area required for construction; limited soil movement permitted.
Demonstrated access to water and electricity, with no obligation for the municipality to provide these services.
Compliance with regulations allows for the submission of a proyecto de actuación for pre-approval at the town hall, followed by the application for a building license. In addition to building costs, an extra 10% fee is levied as compensation to the municipality for permitting extraordinary land use.

Permissible Construction of Pools:

While pools aren't explicitly mentioned, they're presumed permissible as part of the overall construction, especially considering their allowance for tourism-related structures. However, inclusion of a pool should be addressed in the pre-project. Agricultural or industrial contexts may not permit pool construction.

Restoring Ruins in Andalusia:

Restoration of ruins on rustic land is subject to certain conditions. If a ruin is registered in the cadastre and land registry, and remains 'habitable' with a roof and intact main walls, restoration may be pursued through the same procedures as new builds.

Extending Existing Buildings on Rustic Land:

The feasibility of extending existing buildings on rustic land is currently unclear. Architects suggest that compliance with regulations, prior licensing, and adherence to the 1% rule may enable extensions. However, consultation with professionals familiar with rustic land regulations and municipality attitudes is recommended before commencing such projects.

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