The Ministry of Environment and Energy, has prepared new regulations that introduce limitations on residential construction outside designated zones to safeguard the integrity of untouched land.

Specifically, as highlighted by a senior official of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, provisions have been added aiming to concentrate residential buildings in non-designated areas where buildings already exist, and moreover, at specific distances from them, in order to prevent scattered construction in rural areas.

The latest legislative proposal suggests permitting the construction of residences on clearly delineated non-designated plots meeting specific criteria. These plots must have a frontage of 25 meters along a recognized road with a minimum width of 3.5 meters. Two conditions must be met: firstly, there must be a minimum of two legally established buildings in the vicinity, and secondly, the distance between the new construction and these existing buildings should not exceed two kilometers.

However, there are exceptions. Specifically, construction will be permitted on plots with a frontage of 3.5 meters, under the condition that they were established prior to 1985 and if there is already a building in the vicinity. The new regulations for these particular plots will be more stringent, allowing building rights only within 250 meters of an existing structure. The clustering of buildings reduces the necessity for new infrastructure development; thereby minimizing environmental harm noted the same ministry official.

Generally, the proposed regulations categorize construction in out-of-plan areas into two distinct groups: plots established up to May 1985 and those established between June 1985 and December 2003. For both categories, the determination of roads conferring building rights to adjoining rural plots will rely on aerial imagery from 1977. Notably, since 2003, the applicable legislation has mandated a minimum of four acres and a frontage of 25 meters along a recognized road as prerequisites for construction on out-of-plan plots.