I always like to start my articles by commenting on a case study that I have dealt with in my office to explain the legal issues. However, today I am afraid I will not be able to do so as I am here to explain to you the new Decree Law published on 9 March 2020, on the measures for the protection of the territory of the Balearic Islands.
Exactly, as can be deduced, today the Balearic Government has published this new regulation which directly affects rustic land and land for urbanisation. In order to be as clear as possible, we could summarise this rule in the following words:
1.- Protection and conservation of rustic land: The aim is to eliminate the pressure to which the rustic land was subjected due to the excesses of construction. Therefore, the aim is to contain the growth of urbanisations, reinforcing the protection of the very limited rustic land and with the aim of ensuring its rehabilitation and recovery.
2.- Reclassification: This law acts directly on land for development with the intention of reclassifying it as rural land. Article 3 deals with land that years ago was classified as urbanisable and no urban development has been initiated. Their reclassification means that they will be converted from urbanisable land to common rustic land. However, it is important to be attentive to how it is done and how it develops.
3.- Areas classified as RPA: The prohibitions on building single-family dwellings in areas classified as RPA (Risk Prevention Areas) are extended. In other words, if all or part of a plot of land is classified as RPA, the dwelling cannot be located in this area unless it is a construction dedicated to agricultural and livestock farms. On the other hand, for the purposes of calculating the minimum plot, the RPA qualification will not affect.
4.- Modification of urban planning parameters: As long as the use is permitted, the regulation prevents the construction of dwellings on rural land. What this regulation does do, however, is to reduce the urban planning parameters. Article 5 of the regulation limits occupancy to 2% and with a maximum volume of 900m3. On the other hand, the regulation opens the door for these parameters to be reduced by land-use planning Finally, swimming pools may have a maximum surface area of 35m2.
5.- Landscape integration: For the construction of new buildings and complete renovations of existing buildings (except those dedicated to agricultural and livestock farms) must include a technical project that includes the measures for the integration of the building on rural land.
That said, these are the 5 keys to a generic understanding of this new regulation, which will affect, above all, newly built dwellings on rural land from today, 9 May 2020. However, for the peace of mind of those people who are about to receive their building permit today, this regulation will not affect them and those who have submitted the project to the corresponding Town Hall and have all the documentation.
In conclusion, I can understand the need to protect rural land and to avoid the overcrowding of urbanisations. However, I believe that the regulations point towards an over-protectionism of rural land and I would venture to say that in the not too distant future, the construction of single-family dwellings will be prohibited or, if it is not expressly prohibited, requirements will be established that will be difficult to meet.