To eat figs off the tree in the very early morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of the Mediterranean.”
― Elizabeth David, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine
I always like to start my articles by commenting on a case study I have dealt with in my office to explain legal issues. However, I am afraid that today it will not be possible because the topic is a brand-new law Decree published on 9 May 2020, meant to protect the Balearic Islands rural territory.
This new regulation directly affects building on rustic land. Let me try to be as clear as possible and summarize this regulation with the following:
1 - Protection and Conservation of Rustic Land #
The aim of the Decree is to eliminate the pressure of excess construction on rustic land. The goal is to contain the growth of the suburb urbanizations, reinforcing the protection of rustic space because it is limited. Also, the aim is to assure sustainable rehabilitation of the land and facilitate its recovery.
2 - Reclassification #
This law acts directly upon development land and intends to re-qualify it as rustic land. In Article 3, it affects land that years ago was classified as developable, but has not yet started any kind of urban development. Its reclassification implies that the land will pass from development land to common rustic land. It is important to define the different development plans in more detail to better understand the implications for owners or potential buyers of undeveloped land.
3 - Areas qualified as RPA #
The prohibitions to build single-family houses in the areas qualified as RPA (Risk Prevention Areas) are extended. That is to say, if all or part of a plot is qualified as RPA, the dwelling may not be located in this area unless construction is for agricultural and farming operations. On the other hand, for the purpose of computing the minimum plot allowed, the RPA rating will not be affected.
4 - Modification of the Urban Parameters #
As long as the purpose of the land use is allowed, the rule prevents construction of any housing on rustic land. However, what this rule does do is reduce the urban parameters. Article 5 of the rule limits occupation to 2% with a maximum volume of 900m3. On the other hand, the norm opens the door to the possibility of reducing these parameters through territorial planning. Finally, swimming pools may have a maximum surface area of 35m2.
5 - Landscape integration #
For the construction of new buildings and comprehensive refurbishment projects of existing buildings (except those dedicated to farming), the technical project must include measures for the integration of the building on rural land.
These are the 5 key points to understanding this new regulation and that will affect newly built rustic land dwellings planned after May 9, 2020. However, for the peace of mind of those people who already have their permit in hand or those who have presented the project to the corresponding Town Hall and have all the documentation, this new regulation should not be a concern.
These are the 5 key points to understanding this new regulation and that will affect new build rustic land dwellings plans after May 9, 2020. However, for the peace of mind of those people who already have their permit in hand or those who have presented the project to the corresponding Town Hall and have all the documentation, this new regulation should not be a concern.
By way of conclusion I can understand the need to protect the rustic land and avoid the overcrowding of the urbanizations. However, I believe that the regulations point towards an overprotection of rustic land and I would dare to say that in the not too distant future, the construction of new single-family homes will be prohibited or, if it is not expressly prohibited, requirements will be so stringent that they will be difficult to comply with.
If you have any questions or are interested in a specific property, please contact me at [email protected] or +34 669334565, so I can help you.
Decree law 9/2020 of 25 May, on urgent measures for the protection of the territory of the Balearic Islands
By Xavier Jaume Mascarós
6 May, 2021