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The New Coastal Regulations

Spain stands out for the beauty of its shores, among many other things. For this reason, in these highly attractive tourist destinations, there is a concentration both of housing and business premises. If you are the owner of some of these coastal properties or you intend to be, we highly recommend that you read this article to be aware of the new developments in this sector.

Coastal Regulations

In this regard, the recently approved Real Decreto 876/2014, de 10 de octubre, which approves the new Reglamento General de Costas, replaces the previous general regulation for the development and implementation of Ley 22/1988, de 28 de julio, de Costas (valid until October 12, 2014), seeking to provide greater legal certainty to property holders on the coast, among others purposes.

The following most relevant developments are worth noting:

  • Greater legal certainty is given to those homes that were legally built on the Spanish coast, as they may extend their concessions.
  • The legal situation of the coastal establishments known as chiringuitos, has been better regulated, having been established the terms and conditions of the concession and requiring greater upkeep of the beaches.
  • The new regulatory framework allows the hotels to adapt to environmental protection standards, which would ensure their situation.
  • The occupation system and use of different types of beach is specified (the Regulation differs between beaches located in urban stretches and in natural stretches), establishing the maximum protection for the natural stretches of the beaches.
  • Public use of beaches is permitted for all citizens. The new regulation also specifies the requirements, limits and conditions under which one can organise events on urban stretches of beach.
  • New deadlines are established for the concessions, which are restricted to 75, 50 and 30 years, for the purposes of environmental actions, for uses which by their nature require the occupation of the public domain or for uses that provide public services to the public that could not take place in the adjoining land. The concessions may be extended up to 75 years and can be transmitted, prior administrative authorization. Concessions will be extinguished when the works or structures are at risk of being reached by the sea.
  • New buildings or constructions on the coast and any work involving enlargement of existing buildings are prohibited.
  • Regional environmental reports to authorize the extension of concessions for potentially polluting activities are mandatory.
  • Projects that involve occupation of the public domain must be accompanied by a prospective assessment of the potential effects of climate change.

In short, there are many innovations introduced by the Reglamento General de Costas, and those listed above are only some of them. To learn more about this subject or if you are in any of the above circumstances and you require legal assistance, please contact us.

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