Chania Spatial Planning & Environmental Permits

Which administrative authorities regulate planning and zoning for real estate development and use in your jurisdiction and what is the extent of their powers?

Chania Spatial Planning: According to the Constitution, the Greek state has exclusive regulatory competence and control over the Spatial Planning organisation. In some cases, the Ministries, as well as the other related executive bodies (such as Secretaries of the Regions, Prefects and Mayors), are empowered to specialize the planning legislation. Moreover, private entities may initiate the city planning process.

Greece’s spatial and city planning legislation (case study: Chania Spatial Planning) was recently changed to provide a quick, easily administered and reliable spatial planning framework. The envisaged results of the current spatial planning are the following:

Strategic planning applies at the national level as a whole (National Planning Frameworks (NPFs)) and to individual regions (Regional Planning Frameworks (RPFs)). Both NPFs and RPFs are approved by ministerial decision and contain spatial planning rules and suggestions.

Chania Urban Planning & Environmental Permits
Chania Urban Planning & Environmental Permits

The Local Spatial Plans (LSPs) suggest the general terms and conditions for structures and the general uses of land in a municipality. On the other hand, the Special Spatial Plans (SSPs) also suggest the terms and conditions for structures and the general uses of land, but also deal with areas that require special spatial planning handling.

The regions of the country where the city planning procedure has not been finalized are subject to a stricter regime. The structures rules and conditions are generally approved by way of a presidential decree.

Chania Spatial Planning: What are the procedural eligibility requirements and the necessary documentation to obtain planning permission from the Chania Spatial Planning authorities?

The governmental authorities should evaluate the purposefulness of the construction or modification of the building terms, as well as the land uses in each area of interest. To construct building structures on any property, the plot’s size and location must satisfy the criteria set out in the relevant legislation. The uses permitted for each plot are determined in the relevant Local Spatial Plans (LSPs) Special Spatial Plans (SSPs).

Property development may be pursued only in compliance with the building permit that has been issued from the relevant authorities (Chania Spatial Planning authority). As a rule of thumb, the local municipality’s building department is competent to issue the building permit, although the law may requires special competences of other governmental bodies, depending on the intended use of the property and the area that the property is located.

Historic and cultural building protection laws envisage a series of strict rules and restrictions. Violation of these rules may result on a complete ban of the structure development

The law specifies the documentary requirements for the building permits issuance, including the title deeds of the property and architectural and engineering designs. Depending on the scale and nature of the engineering-construction works, an environmental licensing procedure may also be required.

What are the penalties of failure to comply with the spatial planning decisions or regulations?

In the case of, among other things, the performance of construction works without a requisite permit or in excess of its terms, or breach of the provisions envisaged by general or special building restrictions, the unauthorised building or construction is subject to demolition. Fines for erecting and retaining the unauthorised building may also be imposed. However, provisions relating to the demolition of unauthorised constructions have been applied to an extremely limited extent to date and, given the scale of unauthorised building activity in Greece over previous decades, various laws have been enacted which aim to regularize the larger part of such constructions, subject to conditions.

In the event that a building, construction or facility has an actual use which is different from the one envisaged under the applicable planning laws, the building, construction or facility may be subject to administrative sealing for up to one year or, in the case of a persisting offence, an indefinite period.

What administration rules are associated with the protection and development of historic and cultural buildings?

Historic and cultural building protection laws envisage a series of strict rules and restrictions. Violation of these rules may result on a range of consequences, from a complete ban of the structure development to partial restrictions on the development of properties that neighbor ancient monuments. With regard to historic buildings (Chania Old city, Chania Old Harbour, Chania Prefecture), restrictions on the type of work allowed may apply in order to retain the characteristics that led to their designation as such.

Environmental Considerations

What environmental certifications are required for the development of real estate in Chania and how are they obtained?

Depending on the scale and nature of the construction-engineering works, an environmental assessment is required. Moreover, works and activities that have a significant influence on the environment require a decision of approval of environmental terms issued by the minister of the environment and energy or the general secretary of decentralised administration. The process involves the participation of various govermental bodies, including the delivery of statements of opinion, as well as public consultation.

Chania Spatial Planning & Environmental Permits
Chania Spatial Planning & Environmental Permits

A simplified procedure applies to real estate developments with a regional and non-significant environmental impact. Such developments are governed by model environmental undertakings, which include general terms and conditions for the protection of the environment. The competent government agency depends on the type of development.

What environmental disclosure obligations apply to real estate sales?

If there is no valid environmental permit and the seller fails to disclose this information to the purchaser, the seller may be liable on the basis of substantive defects. In addition, an energy efficiency certificate is typically required for the execution of the transfer deed.

What rules and procedures govern environmental clean-up of property? Which parties are responsible for clean-up and what is the extent of their liability?

If there is no valid environmental permit and the seller fails to disclose this information to the purchaser, the seller may be liable on the basis of substantive defects. In addition, an energy efficiency certificate is typically required for the execution of the transfer deed.

For more information on Chania Spatial Planning & Environmental Considerations please visit Chania Real Estate expert’s homepage or contact ARENCOS engineering and consultancy team.

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