The following article is taken from Eye on Spain,

The Licensing Process For Off Plan Properties In Spain

Under construction in SpainThe licensing procedure for off plan properties in Spain can be a lenghty process as this has to pass through several stages. And when the Town Halls drag their heels on granting planning permission this can be quite frustrating for buyers. But it is in the buyers interest that these procedures are carried out correctly, even if it does take longer than anticipated and this will pay off in the end as buyers can rest assured and have peace of mind that they will be purchasing a fully legal property.

Firstly, when a new development is being planned the developer will seek provisional agreement from the local authority to start the project and, providing the local authority gives provisional permission the developer can and usually does start to sell his/her properties on an off-plan basis.

At this stage, the developer of a project is always exposed to risk and  must cap this risk as quickly as possible, limit bank loans and other debts and secure the best possible interest rates from banks and investors on the development loans they need. To do this the developer must sell the properties at a cheap price and this is without doubt the best time for buyers to snap up a bargain as properties will usually be around 30% cheaper than the final project price.

At this very early stage of planning, there will be no show houses to view. Interested prospective buyers make their decision to purchase based on the literature the developer has put together and have to rely on artists impressions and floor plans usually in the form of brochures. Sometimes the developer will also commission a DVD to be made. There is also the possibility to visit the site, so the client can get a feel for the area. It is at this stage of the planning that buyers have to use a great geal of imagination.

As soon as is possible, the developer usually builds show properties to give potential customers a firm idea of what they can expect.

As the project gets underway the developer will increase prices on an incremental basis until the final selling price is reached.  So the longer you delay putting a deposit down on off plan properties in Spain, the more likely it is that you will pay more for your property.

Of course there is always an element of risk when choosing to purchase off plan properties in Spain at this early stage as sometimes the expected date of completion may not be met.  There are several reasons why this may happen. For example, the developer may have been a little too optimistic with completion times or the weather may slow things up a bit and of course the local authority could take more time than anticipated to go over all the
planning criteria and give the necessary approval for each stage of the project.  That said, the early stages of the project is without doubt the best time to pick up a bargain and bag a great
investment property in Spain - but  you must allow that thing may take a little longer than anticipated.

The second stage of the licensing procedure is that the plans for the infrastructure must be submitted and approved by the planning department and once these are accepted and approved then the final licenses to start building will be granted.  This process is, by and large, the same process that occurs in the UK and as you may know, planning application criteria can vary a great deal depending on which local authority is dealing with the
planning application and in Spain it really isn't that different.

All in all the planning department acts in the best interests of the customer and even if they are ponderous in their decision making in the final analysis you are more likely to get quality off plan properties in Spain built to the right specifications - but, as I say, things can and do take time and this can be frustrating for some people.



Bullshit! This is the picture builder and promotors want to beleve. As we all know dragging of time is a rule. What is not said is that builders do not care about the property, area or customer as soon as it is sold. The quality of craftmanship is bottom and snags will never be completed. Arne Gabrielson Dissapointed customer to Quara16/09/2008 19:49:00arne56
I'm truly sorry Melanie but it does not exist such provisional agreement. Planning permission in Spain for this kind of developments is never provisional. The developer have or have not planning permission. My advice for people who is currently thinking of buying off-plan in Spain is to examine whether the development has building permission before pay any money, even the reservation fee. Another issue to point out regarding Town Planning is illegal licence. To avoid be conned you should re-examine the whole official file because sometimes dodgy majors issue illegal licences. I mean, it is not enough to read the last letter of the procedure granting the permission you have to find out whether the Town Hall may has broken the law. 24/09/2008 07:55:00spanishsolicitor