Help please with Building Licence

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13 May 2017 15:03 by gillian Star rating in Colchester and Altea.... 181 posts Send private message

We have purchased a ruin in a conservation area and are now awaiting our licence to build. We have a well known and reputable builder and architect but the process of obtaining the licence has now gone on since December 2016. The initial application went to Altea but Altea quickly passed it to Alicante because it is in a consevation area. The architect was asked to produce further information about 6 weeks ago which he duly did (and quickly) Our understanding is that there is a 2 month cut off period where the licence is granted automatically providing all the necessary forms etc have been filled in. Even allowing for the clock being stpped for periods this seems to have gone beyond this time frame.  Will they have a two month time limit in both Altea and Alicante and can they just keep this going for months by stopping the clock? The architect is never able to get hold of the man dealing with it in Alicante ( who seems to be only there on a Friday!)

Frankly we are tearing our hair out with frustration and don't really know how to proceed from here. We are currently living in the UK  and totally dependent on our architect moving this forward.

Has anyone else had anything similar or knowledge of these situations?





Gilly & Ralph

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13 May 2017 15:44 by briando55 Star rating in Yorkshire. 2001 posts Send private message

Gillian. There's a guy who posts on here called Rob who I think is having a property built in Spain right now.  

I'm unsure about the licence and any conservation area requirement he has but he may have some first hand experience.   I had some private message conversations with him so I will look back when I get chance and see if I can pair you up.  

In the meantime look through some posts and try and spot him, or maybe another member will remember and post. 


This message was last edited by briando55 on 13/05/2017.


Best wishes, Brian


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13 May 2017 16:03 by gillian Star rating in Colchester and Altea.... 181 posts Send private message

Thank you for such a speedy reply Brian, I will try to spot him.



Gilly & Ralph

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13 May 2017 19:26 by GuyT Star rating. 496 posts Send private message

We have had applications to build various types of buildings - houses, casas agricola, garages, etc - in the pipeline since 2008. It can be a discouraging process. For example, although we bought what we thought was 26 000 sq m of agricultural land with building rights, and put in our application to build immediately - and had a certificate provided by the ayuntamiento to our lawyer saying we could build - without which we told our lawyer we would not go ahead with the purchase - we were subsequently overtaken by events and time.

Two years after we applied for permission to build we were told that our land was registered as having only 24 000 sq m despite it showing 26 000 on our deeds. Therefore we could not build unless we bought more land. We managed to persuade a neighbour to sell us an extra piece - 8 000 sq m - at building plot price. We resubmitted with our (now) 32 000 sq m.

Our area, being a conservation area, has many other restrictions on building, even when the land has "building rights", ie is over 25 000 sq metres. In our case we learnt that only four properties were allowed to be built within a 500 m radius, otherwise it would be deemed an urbanisation, which was forbidden in our conservation area. No problem, as there were only two other registered properties when we made our application. But, by the time our application had moved to the top of the pile, two years later. we were told that three other neighbours, who had built and developed assorted illegal structures were now deemed to have rehabilitated themselves by the four-year passage of time.....which now meant that our prospective house would have been house number six, and was thus verboten, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

We have become on first name terms with all the top brass in planning at out junta...all excedingly educated and charming people who are most sympathetic...but as they say, what can they do?....they cannot give permission unlawfully. They would say that they are as much victims of the systems as ourselves.

But you were the ones who told us we needed to buy more land and then it would be OK. Ah yes, but when we told you that we didn't know there were illegal builds that would be rehabilitated.

The final meeting ( of a series of five over 5 years) at the junta involved junta planning lawyer, junta architect and a couple of other top bananas. A giant boardroom table that Trump would have been at home with. They once again commiserated. We understand and agree it is unfair that you have done everything correctly and have been snookered by your neighbours acting in an unlawful manner by their going ahead and building without permission and now making it impossible for you to build. But we cannot give you permission. My wife was close to tears. Then the lawyer looked directly at my wife. Why do you insist on pursuing this application when you know we cannot help you? Why don't you just do what your neighbours have done and apply for permission to build a large casa de apero? (a tool shed) That wouldn't even need comarca permission, far less junta approval. Then you can do what you want with it and in four years it will be legal.

And there we have the infuriatingness and beauty of Spain. There is always a way to work around problems.


This message was last edited by GuyT on 13/05/2017.

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13 May 2017 20:09 by gillian Star rating in Colchester and Altea.... 181 posts Send private message

Hi Guy,

Thank you for giving so much time to this

AAAAhhh I am not sure whether to weep or rejoice after reading this - I guess you are saying that there is always a way: but 5 years on!

We are old - well oldish and need to get cracking. What about this 2 month malarky, is it make believe ?




Gilly & Ralph

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