Before to buy the plot, or to make any decision over the transaction, it will be recommendable to have a PRELIMINARY MEETING with the architects or the construction technical staff from the Building Department (Departamento o Concejalía de Urbanismo) from the Town Hall.
This will make more secure the investment, because, in this meeting, you will have a concrete idea and acknowledge of the conditions and limitations to build in that plot, before to proceed to buy the land. It is more than recommendable that this meeting is done together with your Solicitor expert in construction and, if possible, with the architect who will develop the project and the construction. You need to instruct your architect and your Solicitor to inspect the Plan General de Ordenación Urbana (PGOU) – the Town Plan.
In this meeting also you will discover If any other developments are planned for the area, whether the urbanization is registered and legal, and anything affecting the individual plots themselves. It will also tell you what building permits will be issued around your new property, and what the building regulations are. This is a complex and specialized task and you need your expert advisers to do it for you.
This information can be obtained in writing, with a certification obtained by the Town Hall confirming the exact possibilities and regulations to build on it anf this is called “CÉDULA URBANÍSTICA”.
One of the complaints often heard is about “unexpected” developments, which block the wonderful view when the land was first bought. The first point here is that if you have obtained planning permission, it is logical that others will be able to do so as well in that area. Only if you overlook an official “green” zone are you likely to be saved from building development, and even here the zones can be changed unexpectedly as in the UK, so this is still no long-term guarantee. Pay careful inspection of the PGOU (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana) should help, and confirmed by the Cédula Urbanística.