Last month we discussed about the main features of the new Spanish Coastal Law and its impact on the environment and the legal status of real estate close to the sea. This month we continue our analysis of the issues related to the details of this Directive.
Restrictions of the right of ownership in the case of real estate land adjacent to the public domain or being a part of it: regarding the use of beaches, it is decided that future regulations of the government should establish a different legal regime for the urban beaches (adjacent to an urbanization), and for areas of natural beach (adjacent to protected areas or rural areas). For the natural beaches applies a high level of protection, limiting any activity. It is important to maintain in a natural state the beaches located far away from urban centers and, on the other hand, to keep the city beaches accessible to the public.
Owners of real estate that legally occupies land in the area of special protection (subjected to the legal servitude or easement) will be allowed to carry out works to improve, modernize and strengthen the real estate, but only if they are not associated with an increase in height, volume or area of the building. This is not new, but now the permission of the regional administration is replaced by a responsible statement, which should include evidence that these buildings meet the legal requirements of energy efficiency and water savings. This is to avoid the license of regional autonomous powers being juxtaposed to municipal licenses. In any case, the Spanish government may suspend the administrative acts and agreements adopted by local governments affecting the integrity of public coastal protected area or its easement. The law introduces a fast and effective precautionary measure to prevent the execution of illegal activities, despite the fact that within ten days, the local decision must be challenged by the State in the courts of administrative disputes.
Changes in the regulation of concessions and permits related to coastal public property: The prorogation or extension of existing concessions is subject to an economic report, which is to determine the impact that the use of the area has on the environment. Thus, the duration will depend on the concession environmental sustainability.
The law also changes the maximum term of public concessions to 75 years and also allows to transfer and to sale them. In the case of transfer through inheritance, the period given to the heirs so that they can declare that they agree with the subrogation of the rights of the concession is increased from one year to four years. This prevents the risk of losing the property of the concession if the decision is not taken in a short term of up to one year, given the difficulties that may be especially faced by foreigners. In the case of transfer of rights between living persons, the validity period shall require the prior approval of the Administration.
Carlos Prieto Cid – Lawyer