Given the legal initiatives taken by various autonomous communities to reactivate the economy at the cost of relaxing the administrative controls established in their respective land laws, the Superior Council of the Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE) and the General Council of Technical Architecture of Spain (CGATE) warn that the generalization of responsible declarations and previous communications, as substitutes for licenses in the field of building and urban planning, will cause legal uncertainty. In addition, general interests as important as the safety of people, cultural heritage and the environment will be seriously affected. The reason is the multiple deficiencies in the regulation of these ex-post control instruments. Among them, the following: -The interested party, since they do not have an administrative act or qualifying title to cover their actions, is always in the full uncertainty that, as a result of verification or inspection by the public Administration, the work may be demolished with the consequences that this entails. -The regulations that come into play in the building process are so complex, diverse and heterogeneous, that it makes it practically impossible for the interested parties to express, rigorously and under their responsibility, that they “comply with the requirements established in the current regulations” to have safety in their performance. -There is an absolute ignorance of the documentation, even minimal, that it is necessary to provide because article 69 of the Common Administrative Procedure Law does not specify it. -Also, no specific deadline is set for inspection and verification by the public administration.
As a consequence of all these deficiencies in the system of responsible declarations and previous communications, the legal security of the different agents involved in the process is threatened as follows:
-Due to the difficulties in interpreting a complex, diverse and profuse regulation and since there is no administrative act, no qualifying title for the execution of works or building acts, the legal situation of the interested parties is, to a large extent, precarious and helplessness. Its performance is in a kind of indefinite conditional suspension, at the mercy of the powers of inspection and control of the public Administration, for which there is no clearly established time limit.
-For technical designers, legal uncertainty and increased responsibility is evident. The local Administration does not carry out a prior verification of the technical project and its correctness and integrity, as happens in the urban planning licensing procedure. As a consequence, the responsibility that derives from the incorrectness of a technical project rests entirely with the designer. -Users of buildings are left at the mercy of the consequences resulting from a municipal inspection action that may occur long after the corresponding building works or actions have been carried out. This is aggravated in those autonomous legislations that have broadened the object of the responsible declarations, so that situations can occur that, after the appropriate municipal inspection, even involve having to demolish buildings or some parts, if they are declared illegal.
-Finally, there is also legal uncertainty for the public administrations themselves, since there is no regulated and orderly procedure, as is the case in the urban planning licensing system. Therefore, their risks and their eventual legal responsibilities increase.