The planning regulations on Kefalonia are complicated and, at the moment
subject, to a number of changes.
In all cases a building permit must be obtained and this service is normally
carried out by a state registered engineer who, in conjunction with ourselves
and the client, will complete the plans of the proposed house and submit these,
together with the other information required, to the building permit office for
approval. The engineer will also make application on his client’s behalf for
connection to the electricity and water supplies. Outside the town most sewage
is dealt with by septic tanks.
Once the building permit is obtained, the normal practice is for the client to
enter into a fixed price building contract with the engineer to build the house.
The process of obtaining the building permit normally takes between 6 and 10
weeks and, depending on the site, the building process itself will then take a
further 6 to 8 months.
The great advantages of building your own house on Kefalonia are firstly, that
you get a house specifically built to your own design and suitable to your use,
family etc., and secondly that you make a considerable saving in stamp duty and
other fees, in that fees are only payable in respect of the initial purchase of
the land and not the building itself.
Building Permit Guidlines
The following are offered as a general guide, but it is always best to take
professional advice from us on individual building plots to ensure maximum build
Planning Permission for New Construction
Inside village and town boundaries, planning permission can, on the whole be
granted for any plot, although some laws are specific to a certain area.
Planning permission may be granted for building on land of 2.000 m2 or less if
the plot is situated within the town-planning zone, or fronts a municipal road.
For plots outside of the zone, planning permission can be granted if the land is
a minimum of 4.000 m2 and there are no forestry or archaeological restrictions.
We can put you in touch with reputable architects and engineers who will take
care of these procedures and give advice.
Outside Village Boundaries
Usually 4.000 m2 is required for planning permission outside of village
boundaries. The total size that you are allowed to build is set by individual
planning authorities and follows a sliding scale. For instance on the minimum
plot size of 4.000 m2 you would be allowed to build approximately 200 m2, plus
basement if required, and this increases pro rata with the size of the plot.
However, variations may sometimes be allowed, and this will be dependant on
local rules and negotiation. Generally a building has to be 15 metres away from
the plot boundaries unless it fronts a municipal road. The exception to the
4.000 m2 rule is if a plot of land fronts a municipal road. If this is the case,
then only 2.000 m2 is required to satisfy the planning regulations. These
regulations are in place to stop the concrete box mentality we have seen in some
parts of the Mediterranean. On a 4.000 m2 plot there is always the option of
building 2 villas, provided the total size falls within the permitted area (you
could then sell or rent out the second villa).
Inside Village Boundaries
If a new dwelling is being built the plot must be at least 500 m2. The total
build area is normally around 70-80% of the plot size on 2 floors and is usually
up to a maximum of around 400 m2. This generally has to be 2.5 metres from plot
boundaries. However this can be expanded depending upon negotiation and history
of the plot.
Building Commercial Property
If the land is being developed commercially i.e for hotel/apartments. Then
allowed building is approximately 70% of plot size on 2 levels even where the
property lies outside of the village or town limits.
Planning permission is not required if the property is basically habitable,
unless you are intending to make significant extensions. Generally speaking, the
size may not be increased beyond 70-80% of the plot size, usually to a maximum
of 400 m2. Renovating an old stone house or ruin can be less expensive than
building a new property. In terms of cost, you should generally budget to spend
as much on the renovation as you paid for the original property. Renovation is
not difficult, but keep in mind that the finished property must fall within the
earthquake protection regulations, just as with a new property. A reputable
builder will give you an estimate, and you will make staged payments as each
phase of the renovation is completed.