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What does Decree-Law 9/2020 change? Balearic Government updates on urban development, real estate and construction law in Mallorca
July 29, 2020

What does Decree-Law 9/2020 change? Balearic Government updates on urban development, real estate and construction law in Mallorca

On May 25th, Decree-Law 9/2020 concerning emergency measures for the territorial protection of the Balearic Islands, was made public. In this new blog, Pollentia Properties, Pollensa's leading real estate agency, explains the most important points so please take note.

•  Rarely is a rule adopted that is published and enters into force on the same day. This is due to the adoption, on May 13th, of Decree-Law 8/2020, for the reactivation of economic activity, which proposed various measures to stimulate the construction sector, as well as the refurbishment and change of use of hotels.

•  In addition to the legal conditions for the acquisition of a property in Mallorca, a new decree is now added in relation to development planning, aimed at extending the protection of rustic land on the Balearic Islands, limit urban development, and introducing measures for landscape and environmental integration, as well as for saving water.


Urban land with unconsolidated urbanisation, reclassification of developable land, and regulation of rustic land

When we talk about  urban land with unconsolidated development, we are referring to land that is considered as such in the current urban land plans, but which do not benefit from the urban services stipulated in the Balearic Islands Urban Planning Law and, therefore, should not be classed as “urban” The purpose of the new Decree-Law is to proceed with the adaptation of this land to the current regulations, which may lead to their classification as developable land or rustic land.

The new ruling contemplates a suspension in the processing of development planning, management systems and the granting of any authorization or license for all urban land with unconsolidated urbanisation, whether for residential, tourist or mixed use, that meets all the requisites of this section of the law.


The moratorium for the adaptation has a deadline of December 2021

The respective Island Councils, as well as Palma City Council, have the obligation to adapt to and carry out this new ordinance, and must have the initial approval of the same prior to December 31st, 2021. Otherwise the jurisdiction will be assumed by the Balearic Government.

The moratorium for the adaptation of unconsolidated urban land affects only and exclusively the land that meet all the requirements of the article of law. Among them, reference is made to urban land classified by planning for residential, tourist or mixed use, and which do not benefit from urban services. It also affects the question of whether work has or hasn´t been started, or on the contrary, is exceeding the deadlines, as well as to land that is not surrounded by more than two thirds of fully developed urban land.

The purpose is to paralyse all development projects on this land, until the respective Island Council, or Palma City Council, proceeds to adapt the planning, having the power to classify them either as developable land or rustic land.


Reclassification of developable land

In contrast to the moratorium for unconsolidated urban land, we should be aware of the declassification of programmed and unprogrammed developable land. 

The former, the object of residential, tourist or mixed use and which comply to the following requisites will be automatically declassified into ordinary rustic land. The requirements for the declassification of this developable land are:

•  That the general municipal development plan is not adapted to the specifications for developable land  in the Insular Territorial Plan.

•   That the new development has not actually been initiated.

•   That the deadlines for its materialization  have expired.

The text also establishes that the classification as urban or developable will be maintained for that land that at the time of coming into force of the Decree-Law is in the process of being adapted to the Insular Territorial Plan with the provision  that initial approval must have been obtained, and that less than three years have passed since the last essential stage in the process was reached.

In the latter case, land classified as unprogrammed developable landwould be declassified provided that it has a period of validity of more than 8 years and has not initally passed the Urban Development Action Program. It is not necessary for this land to comply with the above-mentioned requirements, the only decisive factors being the expiry of the deadline, and the lack of initial permission. Neither is there any discrimination relating to the intended use of the land.


Regulation of rustic land

In this case, a series of measures are adopted to reduce certain construction variables, which include:

•  The impossibility of building new single-family homes on land included in areas for the prevention of risks of erosion, landslides, fire or flooding.

•  The reduction of construction variables in the rustic land categories of the Insular Territorial Plan that have a maximum building surface limitation.

• The maximum percentage of the plot that the building and other construction elements are permitted to occupy.

Likewise, municipal or urban planning could be even more restrictive in relation to application for new constructions, or the total renovation of existing ones.  Except for agricultural and livestock projects, a technical project must be presented with specific environmental and landscape integration measures to minimize their negative effects. In this way, measures to save water can be implemented and consist of rainwater collection and recycling of the same.


For more information, please contact our real estate agency in Pollensa

In short, when building or buying a house in Mallorca, the new regulations make it necessary to take into account the use of the land you are interested in. Thus, if what we want is to design our own personal space, we need to be aware of all the measures recently sanctioned. In this case, you can rely on our specialised team to resolve any queries you may have about how to proceed before buying your home in Mallorca. Pollentia Properties, your real estate agency in Pollensa, will respond to all your doubts and questions; we will advise you on everything you need to know to keep up to date with the latest developments in real estate.


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