Planning Permission In Portugal

For some people having their dream property in Portugal, means having a big input into the design of their brand new home, of course, this necessitates getting planning permission.

There are three stages to navigate when applying for planning permission in Portugal.

The first stage should be carried out before you purchase the land or ruin, just to make sure that you really can build there.  We do not advise buying a land plot in Portugal, that does not have either viability to construct, or a current project approved.

Viabilidade de Construção (Viability to Construct)

This document is called the viabilidade de construção (Viability to Construct), this will have to be applied for by the current owner, it will be valid for at least one year, some town halls give longer. It is not a legal requirement  to get this document, but it is cheap and  does not take long, unless it has to go to a district for a decision, in which case you are certainly going to want to know.

Projecto de Arquitectura (Architects Project)

The next stage begins once the land is in your name, this stage is called the Projecto de Arquitectura,(Architects Project) this will be handed in to the Camera (Town Hall) for the initial approval. this project contains a

  • Full description of the property
  • Drawings and impressions
  • Material list
  • Topography

At this stage, the Camera is looking to see whether or not the property is within the legal framework for

  • Metres squared,
  • Height
  • Location on the plot
  • and whether or not the design is in keeping with the local surroundings.

If this is all in keeping with regulations and approved, it is time to go to the third and final stage of the project.

At this point some Cameras will permit some of the work to start, though this is by no means guaranteed.

Projecto de Especialidade (Special Project)

At this stage and in conjunction with an engineer, your architect will submit the Projecto de Especialidade (Special project of detail), this part of the project will contain details such as the

  • Steel inside the concrete
  • Wiring and plumbing
  • Sanitation
  • Insulation
  • Acoustic properties of walls and floors
  • Any other special details pertaining to the construction of the building.

This part of the application for planning permission is usually the longest and depending on the Camera, can take anywhere from ninety days to twelve months, some Cameras can even take longer.

Licença de Obras (Licence to work)

Once the Camera has approved the project, you can apply for your Licença de Obras (License to work) at this point your builders can begin work on the house.

Licença de Habitação (Habitation Licence)

Once the building is complete, the engineer from the Camera will come and inspect the build and the Livro de Obras, (Book of Works) if all is in order for the Camera will provide a Ficha Technica (Technical File) and a Licença de Habitação (Habitation License) and that is you done.

If you are looking to build a home in Portugal then you might want to consider using insulated concrete forms; for your home saving you money and helping Portugal lower its energy needs. In Portuguese contruçao icf em Portugal