Is It Required?
In our environment the idea that municipal planning permission isn’t needed for the refurbishment/renovation of a property is widespread. This notion, mainly supported by builders, is intended to justify savings made to the owner, who orders the works. This idea can lead to many more problems and additional costs than those which are intended to be saved from the outset. All intervention works to a property be it a detached house, an apartment or a commercial unit require planning permission and it’s the responsibility of the owner and those who execute it. These responsibilities are set out in civil law covering the relationship between the owner and builder as well as between the owner and the community of owners in the case of a shared building.
Planning permission, be it for a declaration of responsibility or of greater magnitude, requires a fee to be paid as well as the clarification of many aspects of the proposed works which generally are not cleared up beforehand therefore avoiding unexpected problems.
Firstly, they clarify the roles of the participants of the works. The developer of the works, generally the owner of the property and the constructor who must declare their legal capacity as such.
Furthermore the architect drafting the project or the director of works, should prove their professional registration. The fundamental reason for defining who is involved in the works is to determine the civil responsibilities that each should assume.
In all cases, planning permission approval is a guarantee that the works don’t fail to comply with town planning rules or current building regulations and that they will be guaranteed by the interventions of an architect throughout the whole process. It will be the architect who will manage dealings with the town council, the utility companies, community of property owners, and manage the control and good execution of the works.
In such a case as to act on an element of a community of owners the planning permission will be a guarantee that prior authorization was obtained by the residents, given that without their approval permission it would not be granted. Similarly, it will guarantee the legality of the works.
In no case is renovation or refurbishment work a “minor task” as it is often presented, recommending always therefore the advice in the early stages of trusted professionals.
Article written by:
Javier Leonardo Rímolo
Rimolo & Gross