Citizens who managed to obtain 12,936 building permits secured the right to a building deviation on plots outside urban zones of less than 0.4 hectares.

In particular, until December 9, 2022, when the right of citizens to grant use of deviations (building on plots of 750, 1,200 and 2,000 m2) was abolished, 1,626 permits were issued for pre-approval of a building permit and 11,310 for certification of building conditions. In other words, of the 23,000 building permits in 2022, more than half concern the construction of small, off-plan plots.

The deadline

As the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. Nikos Tagaras stated, from the floor of  Parliament, for those who did not get the pre-approval of the building permit, but secured a certificate of building conditions, this is valid until September 2023. The application for the pre-approval of the license should be submitted by September 2023 .

The validity of the pre-approval is another year and by the end of the pre-approval, the building permit must have been issued. The building permit is valid for four years,” he emphasized. According to the deputy minister, if everything is added together, “the ability to build, by issuing a permit, in the period mentioned exceeds four and a half years”.

In any case, thousands of small owners lost the right to build, at least temporarily, because they did not have time or neglected to submit an application for pre-approval of a building permit by December 9.

The plots

These are plots within a zone of 500 meters from the boundaries of town and settlement plans, provided that the plots were created before April 1977.

“Also, it concerns those plots that face designated roads – national, provincial, international, community – and in the case of 750 square meters, if the plot was created before November 1962 or if it was at least 1,200 square meters, it was created before in September 1964 or, if it was 2000 square meters at least, it should have been created before October 1978,” Mr. Tagaras pointed out.

However, it is noteworthy that, of the approximately 13,000 building permits or pre-approvals of building permits secured by December 9, one third concerned the Ionian Islands, with Crete following.

Urban planning

In any case, as Mr. Tagaras underlined, in 2025 when the urban planning of the country will be completed (that is, with the completion of the Local and Special Urban Plans – TPS and EPS), but also the studies for the identification of the roads in the planning areas, many of the small off-plan plots that did not get the much-coveted permission by December 9, may once again become buildable.

In particular, about 400 million euros have been secured for the studies from the Recovery Fund, and they should be completed at the end of 2025. To date, of the total 225 TPS, which cover 70% of the Greek territory that does not have an urban plan, 128 have already been announced. Of these, for 63 there is a final contractor, for 10 a temporary contractor and for 40 an evaluation is underway to complete the tender process.

Special urban plans

With regard to the 17 Special Town Planning Plans (SPP), a contract has been signed for three (for the Municipality of Minoa Pediada, Thira and Mykonos) and the signing of a contract for Ilia is being completed. The 8 SPPs are expected to pass through the Central Council of Urban Planning Issues and Challenges and the launch of the notice will follow in order to find a contractor, while two others will follow. After the studies are completed in 2025, each of the SPPs will be approved by Presidential Decree.

At the same time, for the definition of Construction Factor Zones of Acceptance, the tender has been completed in 42 municipalities and the studies will have been contracted by April. The same applies to the settlement demarcation studies in 13 municipalities as well as the studies in 69 municipalities for the characterization of roads in the non-planned area, in order to characterize urban public roads. Thus, for the plots of land that “face” roads can be legally issued building permits.

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