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Purchasing Plots of Rustic Land for the construction of property.

In this article we are going to examine the requirements that must be taken into account previous to acquiring rustic land (or non-building land – suelo no urbanizable -) with the aim of initiating a construction project in the Costa Blanca area (Region of Valencia).  With regard to any private investment project involving rustic (or non-building land) and subsequent construction, the restrictions laid down by the Regulations under Law 5/2015 of 25th of July, for Territorial Planning, Urban Development, and the Countryside in the Region of Valencia (LOTUP), must be taken into account, together with the various local urbanistic by-laws that regulate this kind of construction.


Spanish Property Lawyers and Rustic Land Plots


As we mentioned earlier we are going to provide you with an analysis of the above-mentioned process from its outset.  For that reason, we are not going to address the issue of purchasing properties already built on rustic land in this particular article, the legality of which depends on the existence of the corresponding Occupancy License, together with the necessary administrative checks that should be carried out by a legal professional, expert in the area of Property Law.  We will analyse that specific issue in detail in a separate article in the near future.

Therefore, as a starting point when evaluating the possible investment in a plot of rustic land with the aim of constructing a property on it, we must take into account the basic requirements laid down by the afore-mentioned Law 5/2014, under Article 197 (b), which stipulates the following:

“the use of a detached dwelling on non-building or rustic land may be conferred provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. Construction shall be exceptionally permitted on plots of an uninterrupted perimeter, which both in shape and size under no circumstances amount to less than one hectare per dwelling (10,000 m2)
  2. The surface occupied by the building shall under no circumstances exceed two percent of the total surface of the rustic plot; the remaining area must be kept in its natural state or be used for agricultural activity.  However, plans including non-masonry features at ground level, additional to the main dwelling may be permitted, as long as they do not exceed two percent of the total surface of the rustic plot
  3. The building must be located away from natural watercourses. Existing wooded areas must also be preserved, together with the topography or natural land forms of the plot
  4. Adequate provision for water supply, waste disposal, and waste water treatment impeding soil pollution shall be required
  5. The construction shall not form a neighbourhood. In accordance with urban planning, groups of dwellings on a single plot are strictly prohibited, as well as those with characteristics of collective housing

Therefore, as an example, and only taking into account the requirements laid down under the aforementioned Article; on a 10,000 m2 plot it is possible to build a property with a maximum surface of 200 m2, together with non-masonry features, additional to the main property, covering a maximum surface of 200 m2.  Without prejudice to compliance with Local Government Regulations.

It should be clarified that the Regional Government Regulations do not directly permit the construction of properties on rural land, but enable each Region to regulate construction via their corresponding General Urban Development Plan (PGOU), and local by-laws, at all times adhering to the restrictions of the general directives laid down by Law 5/2014.   Therefore, it is always necessary to take into account the specific restrictions established by each City Council for the land in its area.

Expert Advice

From all of the above, it is evident that in order to establish if it is possible to construct a property on a particular rustic land plot, it is not only necessary to take into account Law 5/2014 (a Law that is currently under modification by the Regional Government of Valencia), but that it is also necessary and fundamental that a professional, specialised in the field of Property Law revises and analyses the General Urban Development Plan (PGOU) and the specific by-laws of the area in which the plot is located.

At MSG LEGAL, as lawyers with expertise in the field of Property Law, and with extensive knowledge in the particularities and restrictions of the City Councils corresponding to the most sought after areas for foreign citizens acquiring these type of investments, we can provide you with the required conveyancing service to assure that your initial investment in a plot of rustic land is secure, and that you accomplish your future aim of constructing on it.

Please note the information provided in this article is of general interest only and is not to be construed or intended as substitute for professional legal advice.




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