Portuguese wait 1 year to get licences

 In News, Planning Processes, Real Estate, Red Tape

The majority of Portuguese (57.8%) wait a year or more to get planning permission for building projects according to a survey carried out by online estate agents Imovendo.

The company quizzed 14,986 people of which 6,302 responded to the survey between November 28 and December 3, and was done in the wake of measures presented by the government to simplify planning processes in the construction industry in Portugal.
The study concluded that 40.2% of those canvassed thought that the process of getting planning permission is “one of, if not the most bureaucratic processes in the country”. Although 63.7% of those questioned agreed that the process of getting a licence to build or do up a property was necessary, while 20.9% said they were aware of cases where works had been done without the owners/contractors applying for planning permission first.
At a national level it is currently down to each municipal council to set the cost of planning permission licences, with 69.2% of those asked saying they disagreed with the system and that the government should set the licence fee costs.
Between building and doing up existing properties, opinions were divided as to the most cost effective option, but factors such as location and type of property were important.
In the residential area, 38.5% said there hadn’t been any building works for 2 years or more in their immediate vicinity, but 30.8% said here had been, some saying aa recently as a month prior.
Overall, 71.8% thought that new build contributed to the health of the real estate market. Among the reactions to the question of how fast municipal councils were in granting planning permission, several said that they took longer to approve a licence than it would have taken to actually build the property in the first place.
The message was clear: more transparency, less red tape, faster and simpler planning permission processes, processes that should be open to public scrutiny, exemption on IMT property tax for 1st time own home acquisitions, and cheaper building materials and labour costs.