Off grid living

Old Feb 25th 2022, 10:47 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Off grid living

Originally Posted by Le Saints View Post
Yeah I understand their attitude would change which is a shame because the intentions are genuine. If all these ecofriendly systems were put in place how can it be classed as non permanent ? It would be a costly exercise and then become detrimental to the environment if they were then removed. If this project was solely the farmers would it be viewed in a different light I wonder.
The problem often comes where a temporary dwelling or mobile home is allowed on a plot without habitation rights and then other structures or services are installed, placing it in a different category. I was watching a couple on YouTube a couple of years ago who had bought some land with derelict building for conversion, based only on verbal approval from local authority. After purchase, proved impossible to obtain planning consent and habitation approval.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 10:47 am
  #17  
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Default Re: Off grid living

Originally Posted by Le Saints View Post
Fantastic info Macliam.

Before a penny is spent or a spade put in the ground all will be clear.
I can imagine the red tape involved on a change of use, even if it does benefit the ecology of the land and benefit the local economy.
Traveling on Sunday to speak to the relevant people and may take a look at other plots where a project like this maybe more straight forward.
OK, be aware that (generalizing) all land that is not built upon will be under the "rural" regime..... i.e. registered for agricultural use only - so anything beyond such use will require a change of registration.... and there is the question of ownership. Here you may hit things of which you are not aware - because it would likely consider impact on neighbours, impact on future development, etc. - and, without doubt, you would have to provide proof of the benefits of your proposal. However, in your case, if the change of usage is seen as a subdivision of a rural plot, this may be denied due to the impact on the viability of the remaining rural land.

AFAIK the equivalent of "Outline planning permission" only exists in Portugal where land has been accepted as a urbanization and divided into plots with planned services provided. Any actual construction requires specific approved plans, not outline approval - and what is taken as "construction" is far more than just a house.... a carport, a swimming pool, a patio, any covered area, etc., etc.- this is why I query whether you can have any form of sewerage without permission. As part of such plans you must provide architectural drawings, where everything proposed must meet national and local planning rules - and the completed construction will be checked against these plans before any final approval is possible - the "habitation licence".

Obviously, your proposed usage is not "normal"..... but neither is it "accepted" and many Camaras are very consrvative and keen to protect the traditions of their area.... hence the issue with the container-based accommodation I cited earlier. In such an atmosphere, claims that something outside the norm will "benefit the ecology of the land and benefit the local economy" will need to be proven to the nth degree. Also, as I suggested earlier, due to the process (and from my experience) planners get very nervous about creeping usage.... e.g. that a decision may have greater future impact than that which is currently planned. Be aware that any approval granted is time limited, so there is no point looking for approval for something that may not be done within that time period. Bluntly, approval is only given for exactly what has been proposed, within a given timescale - anything other than this won't fly.

Others on this forum who have been through the planning process will tell you that there is very little leeway.... but also that outcomes depend on the Camara involved. All I can suggest at the moment is to assume nothing and prepare for some frustrating accommodations!
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 11:11 am
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Default Re: Off grid living

Hi Coleio

Thanks for the information.
At the moment it is (ZEB) an expensive installation but still very impressive and would be an excellent addition to a project " No grants available" is a surprise to a product so beneficial to the planet. Again an Anaerobic digester is the next step sewage disposal method and out of the budget at this time, the bacteria friendly septic tank at least returns all waste water back to serve an useful purpose, the sludge that has to be removed can also be used as fertiliser.
Many thanks for the info and any other topics you think will be of interest please let me know.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 11:31 am
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Default Re: Off grid living

Again valuable information and thanks for it, so for instance outdoor eating area which is a necessity in Portugal is classed as a permanent structure even if it is not a dwelling ?
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Off grid living

Graham F, do you know of any exceptional occasions when the Camara has agreed to change the category of the land ?
Thanks
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Off grid living

Thanks Macliam

I have just asked this question to Graham F, do you know of cases where the Camara have changed the category of the land.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Off grid living

Originally Posted by Le Saints View Post
Again valuable information and thanks for it, so for instance outdoor eating area which is a necessity in Portugal is classed as a permanent structure even if it is not a dwelling ?
If it is permanent and is a change of use......... what do you think? Certainly a patio with barbecue and bread oven is included on my documents as part of the built area and under the Urban taxation regime. So, your answer will depend on exactly what is proposed, where it is - and how sympathetic the local Camara is to the proposal. Of course, such things are often done without permission..... but that's a whole new kettle of fish, because any whiff of illegality could threaten anything in your proposed usage.......

Another thing that occurred to me (due to an issue a neighbour had) is your permanent access. As I've already suggested, the idea of developing on land you don't own is not the norm in Portugal - but also, if your access, or the access of any services, is across land not under your control, this can be flagged as requiring resolution. As I suggested at the outset, you really need to have all your plans in a form that can be discussed with the relevant people.... because there are 1001 things that can come back to bite you later on. Sorry to be throwing up negatives..... but I have had to learn a great deal about the planning process in Portugal, after being bitten myself...
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 1:08 pm
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Default Re: Off grid living

Great answer Macliam
Just to clarify the ownership aspect, my friend the farmer is "willing" to sell me the land, if the planning and clearances to allow this project are not fully agreed then its a waste of time, money and effort.
The access is I believe the most straight forward of all the questions to be answered, on the farm itself is a bridge which crosses a predominately dry bed stream/ditch, so the farm has its own permanent access.
Don't worry about the negatives without them there are no positives.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 1:12 pm
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Default Re: Off grid living

Sorry that should have read the bridge is the access to the plot and the farm has its own access.
Cheers
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Off grid living

I missed your earlier question - yes, where I am almost any building will require a change of use - hardly anyone renovates and if they do, it is in a way that incolves expansion. Basically, my place is a combination of Urban (habitable) and Rural land..... anything built on the urban part is OK - anything encroaching on the rural part would be a headache. Luckily, I have land that was previously classified as Urban.... the rest of the planning is as it is (enough of a headache).

OK, your friend might be willing to sell you the land, BUT, unless it already has it's own registration, he would need to subdivide the land. If all his land is covered by one registration document and one IMI, then he would have to apply for the land to be divided and separate documents produced - and that may not be allowed for a number of reasons, but usually around the idea that rural land that is subdivided risks losing its utility as rural land..... Again, if there is the merest sniff that anyone is trying to get around the legal processes, it won't fly.

Lastly, if the land can only be accessed via the main farm, then it doesn't have its own access. It may not seem likely, but the Camara will see it that if the farm is sold, the land you are talking about would become isolated. Any subdivision (as above) would probably depend on there being pysical access without dependency on another property.

Last edited by macliam; Feb 25th 2022 at 1:53 pm.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Off grid living

Originally Posted by Le Saints View Post
Graham F, do you know of any exceptional occasions when the Camara has agreed to change the category of the land ?
Thanks
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No, I personally don't. As usual, it's the bad news which travels fastest and most of the information I get is from an architect cousin who also has family construction business and of course YouTube DIYers. Some potential purchasers have also found that cheap land and buildings out in the sticks have been re-zoned as fire risk area and habitation status cancelled so, don't rely just on estate agents sales pitch. Times have mostly changed since the old days when a nod, wink and back-hander to local officials was common practice.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Off grid living

OK Macliam, At least I'll have the chance to put these questions to both my friend and the camara when I'm over next week, I may run out out of A4 before the questions end.
Many thanks and I'll let everyone know what progress is made if any when I get back.
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Old Feb 25th 2022, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Off grid living

NO !!! That sort of thing never happened, did it ?
We personally would not leave anything to chance regarding legalities, planning or consents, the risk factor is too great.
But its better to know the hard facts.
Many thanks Graham F
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Old Feb 26th 2022, 11:39 am
  #29  
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Default Re: Off grid living

If you really want to know the hard facts...
Everyone is just being kind this week.
The reality is, you don't have a snowball's chance in you-know-where of getting the permissions you need.

Sorry, I don't want to be mean, but that is reality.

Building permission, if every single detail is perfectly correct, takes years.
There are hundreds of regulations. Like most countries, planning departments are extremely conservative.
Your plan with "alternative" dwellings, septic systems, access paths... it will never pass through the grueling, tedious, bureaucratic process.

You're wasting your good creative energy, money, and time.

I suggest you drive around and look for anyone living an any non-standard structures. Just walk right up and ask them about it.


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Old Feb 26th 2022, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Off grid living

The previous post is correct. There is plenty of information out there on exactly this topic but it comes down to the fact that you cannot just buy rustic land and live on it permanently whether that is in temporary or permanent accommodation. Plenty of people do exactly that, whether the camara cares enough to do anything about it is another matter but the structures will almost always be technically illegal. There are a few rare exceptions but this is the general rule.
If I was in your position I would buy a property that has one or more urban articles with an existing house that has a licence of habitation or that is pre 1951, and one or more rustic articles, that way at least you have gone some way to overcoming the problem about whether you can live there permanently.
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