Help with plots, planning permission and construction in Ibiza and Mallorca

The Balearic Islands are a region of Spain. As such, they fall under the general law of Spain. However, there are a few local planning laws that should be taken into account.

plots for sale in Ibiza and Mallorca

When buying a property, or considering the purchase of plots, planning permission, construction in Ibiza and Mallorca, the precise layout of the whole property is an important factor. There are many factors that a correct plan can help with, including avoiding potential disputes on boundaries with your new neighbours.

The planned purchase can be registered as “URBAN” or “RURAL” land. The allowances for building sizes vary enormously depending on these two categories of registration.  There are other “Zoning Regulations” categories.

Here’s a brief list:

Forestal – A very restrictive category, making it extremely difficult to gain new planning consent for buildings. In order to even consider the planning potential, the parcel of land must have a minimum plot size of 25,000 SqM.

Urban (Urbano) – The best place to begin with Urban registered land is with a specialist planning consultant as the Building Regulations vary considerably from one municipality to another. As a guide though, you won’t gain consent to build anything larger than 250 SqM if it’s for a single dwelling.

Rural (Rustico) – If the land is registered as being designated in a “Rural Zone”, then the plot must be at least 15,000 SqM.

Plots close to the sea – Aside from the regulation category of the land, there’s a general rule on the Balearics that no plots will gain new consent to build a residential home within 250m of the sea front. If the house already exists (even if it’s a ruin), then permission to rebuild is likely to be granted.

General guide of build size: Once again, build size allowances vary from one Island to another and from one municipality to another. Take advice from a local professional. However, On Ibiza (for example), you are not likely to gain consent for anything larger than 450/500 SqM. Most plots are restricted to 250 SqM build now. If you are offered a plot with “permiso” for something larger than 500 SqM then it’s likely that the current / previous buildings on that site amounted to more than 500 SqM.

A “rule of thumb” guide for Ibiza urban plots: You can normally only build a property that is 25% of the total land size. So, if the plot is 2,000 SqM, you can normally expect to build a 500 SqM property (This is the maximum now allowed in Ibiza). If the plit is 1,000 SqM, then you can build up to 250 SqM of construction.

Is it legal?

Once you’ve established the category of the land, you can consider if the property offered is legal. Start with the total amount of land being sold, together with the total developed area (including outbuildings, the swimming pool, and covered terraces)

Often, home owners have incorporated an old outbuilding as additional guest accommodation. This may have been legalised with the planners. However, in most cases, this has not happened. It’s not a total disaster as the Balearic Islands are currently allowing home owners to declare their past planning “misdemeanours”. Providing the home owner pays a fee and a fine, they usually get the problem legalized.

We are on hand to help with any questions regarding plots, planning permission, construction in Ibiza and Mallorca.

What paperwork should be checked / provided?

A good place to start is with the Estate Agent, or your property advisor. They can check with the entries on the Land Registry. This usually provides the answer to the total amount of land included in the sale. This is provided in the form of something called a “Nota Simple”. It states the precise size in Square Metres.

However, as a word of caution, the entry in the Land Registry & on the Nota Simple may vary enormously from what you’ve been told about your chosen property.  It’s also likely that the description of the property and the dimensions of the buildings also differ from what you’ve seen. These items can be seen in another document called the “Catastro”, which is in the “Register de Propiedad”. If the entries vary from what you’ve been shown at the property, clearly this is a good time to start asking for additional documents to demonstrate that the variations have been legalised. They may be 2 separate parcels of land, for example.

You, the selling agent, or your representative can ask for a public Notary’s certificate (Acta de notoriedad) before a Public Notary. In order to get this, the current owner needs to provide certain documents, demonstrating the correct position of the property, its size and boundaries.

Here are the documents required:

  • Register de Propiedad (Land registry certificate)
  • The Certificate from the Catastro, demonstrating the graphic description of the property
  • The original Acta de Notoriedad (Public Notary’s Certificate), when the current owner bought / inherited the property
  • A topographical map of the property (supplied by an architect / surveyor)
  • A technical certificate (also supplied by an architect or surveyor)
  • Statements from 2 witnesses (sign to state that the property agrees with the Catastro)


Who to talk to first?

If this all seems like a maze to you, just call us and we will guide you through the process. We have appropriate professional advisors on-hand to help with plots, planning permission, construction in Ibiza and Mallorca.

We may save you money and will certainly save you a lot of time.

Call our UK head office: +44 (0)1480 474517