We all know that without licenses we cannot nor should not carry out any works or change of use, and due to this we have decided today to write about this matter, in order to have a clearer idea of what is a license, what is a prior communication and when one or the other should be requested to avoid the opening of a planning infringement file.


According to the first section of art. 145 of the Planning Law of the Balearic Islands (LUIB), the planning license is «the administrative action by which is acquired the authority to carry out the actions of transformation or use of land and underground, of division into plots, demolition of buildings, occupation, exploitation or use of certain land or property»and in the art. 146 LUIB we find the list of actions subject to a planning license:

  1. Urban plots, joining of same, separation of same or other actions of dividing properties, unless they are within approved projects of re-division.
  2. Removal of earth and levelling, as well as the dumping under the terms ruled by law.
  3. Development works that must be carried out despite the planning projects duly approved.
  4. Building works and construction of a new floor and any other intervention in existing buildings, as long as they require a technical project.
  5. The locating of pre-fabricated houses and similar installations, these be provisional or permanente, with exception to those in campings or camping areas legally authorized.
  6. The total or partial demolition of constructions and buildings.
  7. The change of use in buildings and installations. By law will be required actions that, due to their little importance, are exempt or that the authorizations of the competent agricultural authority free them from obtaining a license.
  8. Mass felling of trees and shrubs, as well as single trees that are object of protection by planning instruments.
  9. The fitting of publicity signs that can be seen from the public road.
  10. The closure of plots and land.
  11. The radio-electric, telematic and similar network, without prejudice to that stipulated in the sectorial rule that be applicable.
  12. Opening of roads and access to plots.
  13. The first occupation or use of the buildings and installations in general.
  14. The works and provisional uses referred to in article 128 of this law.
  15. The underground installations for parking, industrial activities, trade or professional activities, public services or any other use underground.
  16. Any other actions stipulated by law or by the general plan.


On the other hand, prior communication (arts. 145 and 148 LUIB) is the document where the people interested advise the borough administration of their identification details and other stated requirements to carry out simple Works and small building Works that do not require a project, allowing the start of the activity in question under the conditions stipulated by this Law, and without prejudice to the authority of verification, control and inspection that correspond to the town halls or island board of control.


This is an infraction considered in the LUIB as serious or very serious and the corresponding administration may open a planning infringement file in order to:

  1. Re-establish planning legality if this is possible and, if not, take the necessary measures to the infringement board to replace the altered physical state back to its original state. These measures will also affect the people who purchase the property.
  2. Adopt the necessary measures required due to the responsibility for the sanction and administrative or penal disciplinary order
  3. All relevant for the compensation of damages and indemnity of harm by the responsible persons.

Those responsible (art. 164 LUIB) generally are the owners, the promotors and the builders, but also any other person who holds authorization over the carrying out of the actions, as well as the Project Management and the drafter of the projects.

Legal entities (art. 164. 8 LUIB) are also responsible for planning infringements commited by their departments and agents and, in this case, will accept the cost of the measures of re-establishing the legal order disturbed and the indemity for damages to third parties.

Without doubt the best thing is to be correctly advised by specialized lawyers in this matter before carrying out any type of work in a property, as the fines and the consequences can be very serious, so please do not doubt in contracting us, and our legal team of lawyers in Mallorca and in Ibiza will be very pleased to answer all your queries.

Bufete Frau
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