Councils must cut red tape says association

 In Associations, News, Property, Real Estate

Municipal and town councils must cut red tape and speed up planning permission for big-ticket international property investors with projects for Portugal.

This will be one of the key messages of the II Real Estate Development in Portugal Conference which will take place on 30 June in Lisbon.
‘Debureaucratise Planning Processes – a national plan’ is the motto of one of the sessions at the conference which will take place in a presential format.
The conference will start with a presentation “A National Strategy for the Simplification of Urban Planning” by the new President of the APPII (Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors), Hugo Santos Ferreira who says investment will go elsewhere if the municipal authorities don’t streamline planning departments. Hugo Santos Ferreira says it’s ridiculous that some councils have up to 700 or 800 staff working on some projects instead of a specific project having a dedicated project manager and team dealing with the planning process and online digital ‘paperwork’ from the time the application enters the council to completion. The sector in Portugal, he says, has two big challenges ahead: construction of housing for all, and reduction in bureaucracy, which continues to be one of the biggest obstacles to development, investment and productivity in Portugal.
“Bureaucracy and taxes are the two points on the black list for Portugal according to the World Forum competitiveness rankings. A lack of transparency and a sluggish planning processes are a national problem,” says Hugo Santos Ferreira.
The APPII president says corruption and the amount of red tape in licensing processes scare away investors.
“Every year of delay in planning permission has an impact of €500 per square metre on the final sale price. With an average sale price of €2,500m2 for housing aimed at the middle classes, it means that a 2 year delay adds about €1,000 onto the final price, or €3,000m2. The result is that what is meant to be affordable housing is already not affordable for the Portuguese middle class. This is why we have to lower the planning permission timings. There has to be more certainty from local and central government in regulations, rules and timings,” said Santos Ferreira.
A round table debate will include opinions from Fernanda do Carmo, the director of the DGT (General Directorate for Territory); Carlos Pina, director of Territorial Planning Services, Diogo Pinto Gonçalves, CEO of Westport, Westmount Group, Tiago Eiró, CEO of Eastbanc, João Cristina, director of Merlin Properties Portugal, João Pereira Reis, painter, Morais Leitão and António Gil Machado, director of magazine Vida Imobiliária who will moderate the session.
Organised by the APPII and VI, the Conference for Real Estate Development in Portugal will take place at Monsanto Secret Spot in Lisbon.