Town Planning Law

ALTEALEX - Practice Areas

What does town planning law consist of?

Urban planning or town planning law is a legal speciality that deals with the planning and use of land, establishing the powers and obligations of the owners of land.

In order to build a villa or to carry out extension or renovation works, it is necessary to obtain a building permit and sometimes it is necessary to have the help of a lawyer specialised in town planning. Obtaining planning permission is just one of the services that a lawyer specialised in town planning can provide.

ALTEALEX has a team of collaborating lawyers specialised in urban planning law who provide urban planning consultancy services on issues such as planning, management and discipline, and licences.

Urban planning

The urban planning regulations establish which land is urban, which is not for development -rural-, which may be for development; which is to be protected in view of its special circumstances; which may be residential, commercial, industrial, tertiary or service land, etc.; and these regulations establish how and where the land may be built on, the size of buildings, the height of buildings or their distance from streets or from other buildings.

The urban planning power is discretionary but the Public Administration is not entirely free to make decisions but must comply with the urban planning regulations. Sometimes owners are not in agreement with decisions made by the Public Administration: ALTEALEX lawyers can help them make their voice be heard.

Town planning management/execution

Urban management is the execution of urban planning and it is carried out through technical and legal instruments (‘proyectos de reparcelación’) which give the owners the possibility to build on their land, after the cession of a part of the land for the roads and facilities foreseen in the planning, public lighting, drinking water supply, sewage, etc.

Urban planning discipline

When the land is already planned and executed or urbanised, the owners can exercise their right to build, but to do so they must first obtain a municipal building permit.

The Town Council will check whether the intended use of the building, its volume, height, etc. is correct and, if so, will grant the building permit. The same applies if it is a question of demolishing, extending or renovating a pre-existing building. Sometimes, in the case of minor works, it is sufficient to present a declaration to the Town Hall stating that all the requirements have been met.

However, if we carry out building work without a licence or without complying with the requirements of the granted licence, we would be committing an urban planning infringement and we could face a sanctioning procedure, a financial penalty or fine and the demolition of what has been improperly built.

town planing altea

ALTEALEX has a legal consulting, management and defence service for all matters related to the obtention or refusal of licences and possible fines or penalties for urban planning infringements. We also advise owners who may be negatively affected by the works, actions or urban planning infractions of a neighbour.

Irregular or out-of-order constructions

It is quite common for a house to be in an irregular or out of order situation but, fortunately, in some cases the Town Hall will not be able to impose sanctions or demolish what has been built and it will also be possible to obtain the certificate of habitability and register these constructions in the Land Registry and sell or transfer them without any problem. In ALTEALEX we can advise you and take care of all the necessary steps for this.

Autonomous communities and local regulations

In Spain, it is not only necessary to take into account the national legislation, which applies throughout the Spanish territory, but also the regulations of each of the 17 autonomous communities and also the local regulations of each Town Hall. For this reason, it is important to have the help of town planning lawyers who know in depth the regional and local regulations and have experience in the application of these regulations.

At ALTEALEX we are very well versed in the town planning regulations applicable in Altea and in other municipalities of the Costa Blanca, and therefore we can advise and manage procedures much more quickly and efficiently than other law firms that lack this local knowledge and experience.

Town planning services

Among other services in town planning matters, ALTEALEX offers the following services:

  • Preparation of legal opinions and reports related to town planning.
  • Advice on urban planning in coordination with other experts in the sector such as architects or engineers.
  • Urban planning advice for the extension of villas, commercial premises or other types of construction.
  • Advice on disputes over land boundary problems.
  • Negotiation of contracts tailored to each project.
  • Resolution of conflicts caused by illegal installations or constructions.
  • Legal proceedings and appeals in all types of urban planning discipline procedures.
  • Participation in land requalification processes.
  • Management of town planning projects.
  • Provision of legal services to urban development agents, compensation boards or entities collaborating with the administration.
  • Advice on urban planning and execution.
  • Obtaining licences, authorisations and concessions.
  • Drafting of urban development agreements.
  • Drafting of legal, town planning and environmental audit reports.
  • Advice on the construction of commercial premises
  • Expropriation of land, buildings or industrial facilities.