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The Urban Planning Simplex has just over 20 measures that came into force at the beginning of March and which aim to simplify bureaucratic processes involving urban planning. José Luís Bagulho, a specialist in Real Estate and Urban Planning Law and a lawyer at BRAM Advogados, explains in more detail some of the changes that could make the construction market more competitive.


Among the measures of the Simplex Urbanístico are the new deadlines given to local councils for approving processes and the end of the obligation to present building licencies. What advantages can this bring to players in the construction sector?


The " Urban Simplex" legislative package comes as part of the development of the Construction Code (scheduled to come into force in 2026). The new decision deadlines - 120, 150 or 200 days, depending on the case and the gross construction area per square metre - together with the way they are counted and the improved tacit approval figure, are a significant boost to legal certainty, although they create more uncertainty and responsibility for municipal technicians and decision-makers. City councils are now obliged to act swiftly and appropriately from a procedural point of view, clearly in the interests of all players in the construction sector, and if they exceed the decision deadline, tacit approval can make them jointly responsible, to the private individual/builder for any anomalies in the architectural or specialty project that may be the responsibility of the designer or contractor. The formation of tacit approval now

the license to carry out the urban development operation and, if requested, also the license to occupy the public highway. Another advantage of tacit urban planning approval is that the deadline for completion of the construction and building work becomes the one indicated in the applicant's request. Lastly, the elimination of the license is an advantage for the sector, with the receipt proving payment of the fees due being sufficient.


The Urban Simplex introduced a change regarding the use of autonomous fractions of buildings for residential purposes - and there are cases in which the authorization of the other condominium owners is no longer necessary. What is the aim of this measure?


The aim of this measure is to allow changes to be made to the purpose or use of an autonomous fraction for residential purposes, without the authorization of the other condominium owners. In such cases, it is up to the condominium owner concerned to change the use of his In these cases, it will be up to the interested condominium owner to change the use of their unit at the respective town hall, by unilateral act contained in a public deed or notarized private document, to make the corresponding change to the constitutive title and then communicate it, as is their duty, to the administrator within 10 days.



 What impact does land reclassification have on builders and property developers?


The simplification of land reclassification acts contributes to the country's growth and development, to the construction of new buildings for public housing, controlled costs or affordable rent and to the rehabilitation of existing buildings for the same purpose.


The Electronic Platform for Urban Planning Procedures is due to come into force in 2026. Do you think it will effectively speed up and simplify consultation and access to processes?


The dematerialization of urban planning processes and procedural acts is beneficial to individuals, reduces processing times and simplifies consultation and access to processes, in good time if not permanently and immediately, without being conditioned to the periods of operation of municipal services.

ValorMagazine_BRAM_18032024 - EN
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