DEFINITIVE APPROVAL OF THE SPECIAL PLAN FOR TOURIST ACCOMMODATION IN BARCELONA
On 27 January 2017, a plenary session of Barcelona City Council definitively approved the “Special urban plan for the planning of establishments for tourist accommodation, youth hostels, collective residences of temporary accommodation and tourist apartments in the city of Barcelona” (“PEUAT”).
With its entry into force (the day after its publication), the so-called moratorium on tourist accommodation is brought to an end and replaced by the provisions of the PEUAT.
The first set of conditions to be met by buildings that are to be used for any type of tourist accommodation, youth hostel or student residence are the following:
(A) No part of the building may have been used as a dwelling prior to 1 July 2015.
(B) The whole building must be used for one of the indicated activities, with the sole exception of the ground floor, where any of the permitted uses for the plot of land where the building is located will be allowed, except for housing.
(C) The main façade must look onto a street that is at least eight metres wide, with the exception of some streets that are between six and eight metres wide.
(D) The building must comply with the planning regulations.
Furthermore, when the planned establishment has a capacity of 350 beds or more, an integral special plan regulated in article 67.3 of the Barcelona Municipal Chart must be approved.
The regulations on Specific Zones (“ZE”) and Specific Treatment Areas (“ATE”) are applicable to all types of tourist accommodation, youth hostels and student residences (vid. Section 4 on the specific regulations applicable to student residences). The PEUAT contains a census of all such existing establishments in each ZE and the number of beds they have.
In this area, outlined in red in the map below, neither new establishments may be opened nor the number of beds in existing establishments increased, even if existing establishments close.
In ZE-2, outlined in orange in the map below, the number of beds in existing establishments cannot be increased. New establishments can be opened, provided that the maximum number of beds and establishments indicated in the census is not exceeded. Thus, it will only be possible to open new establishments when an existing establishment with similar characteristics is removed from the census (i.e. closed).
ZE-3 is outlined in green in the map. In this area, both new establishments can be opened and the number of beds in existing establishments increased, as long as the total number of beds recorded in the census for ZE-3 is not exceeded. This permitted total increase in beds in each area of ZE-3 is as follows:
Furthermore, in ZE-2 and ZE-3 the following conditions must be met:
(A) The “radial density” cannot exceed the following ratio (i.e. distance between establishments in accordance with the number beds):
In the so-called “main axes” (understood as main thoroughfares), the radial distance is substituted by a linear distance of 150 metres, irrespective of the number of beds.
(B) Establishments may not be located on a street with a gradient of 20% or more.
(C) When an establishment is located on a street measuring between six and eight metres wide, it may not have more than 50 beds and must be regulated by a special plan.
In this area, outlined in blue in the map, the following conditions must be met:
(A) The maximum bed density of 1,480 may not be exceeded.
(B) The “radial density” may not exceed the following ratio:
In this area new establishments may only be opened on plots specifically designated exclusively for use as a hotel, which have a total building capacity of 78,497 m2 in accordance with the Amendment of the General Metropolitan Plan of La Sagrera and its surroundings, which was definitively approved on 19 May 2004.
No new establishments may be opened in any other part of La Sagrera.
The “radial density” may not exceed the following ratio:
In the “main axes”, the radial distance is substituted by a linear distance of 150 metres, irrespective of the number of beds.
In the ATE, outlined in the map, the number of beds in existing establishments may not be increased. In addition to the conditions applicable in the corresponding ZE, the following conditions must be met by new establishments:
(A) They cannot have more than 100 beds.
(B) There must be a minimum radial distance of 100 metres for establishments with up to 50 beds, and of 125 metres for establishments with between 50 and 100 beds.
(C) No more than 60% of their useful area may be used for rooms.
(D) No more than three registered plots (as at 1 July 2015) may be physically or legally grouped together.
(E) Building façades cannot be more than 18 metres wide or, if they are, the maximum width cannot exceed the maximum established in the planning regulations applicable to the historical centre of Barcelona.
The opening of a student residence on land intended for community facilities (equipamientos) will always require the approval of a special plan that must include:
(A) A study evidencing the need for and suitability of the residence, taking into account the number of beds available in this type of establishment in the city as a whole.
(B) Documentation evidencing the link between the ownership of the residence and an educational institution or, if one exists, an agreement between the property owners and the educational institution. The agreement must have an initial term of at least five years and be in force for the duration of the activity.
(C) A binding document (sworn declaration) indicating whether or not non-students can stay in the residence and/or if stays of less than 31 days are permitted.
Whenever non-students can stay in the residence and/or stays of less than 31 days are permitted, an application must be made to include youth hostel activities as a permitted activity in the establishment (for existing residences), or a combined application as a youth hostel and student residence for new establishments. Those establishments must comply with the regulations applicable to the ZE where they are located.
If you have any queries or you require legal advice in relation with the definitive approval of the PEUAT, please do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience. We will be pleased to assist you.
In establishments considered unlawful (fuera de ordenación) the only works allowed are those to carry out minor repairs required on public health, safety or maintenance grounds, as well as those designed to improve access and remove architectural barriers.
 When they entail changes to the foundations or structure of the building, further limitations will apply.
 In the case of changes to the building’s foundations when the establishment has less than 50 beds and faces a street between eight and six metres wide, a special plan must be passed.
 When the number of beds increases, further limitations will apply. In the case of changes to the building’s foundations when the establishment has less than 50 beds and faces a street between eight and six metres wide, a special plan must be passed
In our Barcelona office you can contact:
The information contained in this Newsletter is of a general nature and does not constitute legal advice
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