This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website More info


The Power of a 'Comunicação Prévia de Informação' in Portugal

Dreaming of building in Portugal? The "Comunicação Prévia de Informação", also shortened as PIP or translated to English as “Request for Preliminary Information) offers an enlightening opportunity before you even begin the formal planning journey. This informative step provides you with insights that can shape the direction of your project.


Architect tekening


The "Comunicação Prévia de Informação" is a process in Portugal where property owners or developers can submit a communication to the local authorities to obtain information about the feasibility of their intended construction project before formally applying for planning permission. This process allows you to gather preliminary feedback on your project's compliance with zoning regulations and other requirements.


The "Comunicação Prévia de Informação" is typically requested at the pre-application stage, which aligns with step 6 in the process from land to approved project. Read more about these steps in this article. (add hyperlink to first article) 


By requesting a "Comunicação Prévia de Informação" during the pre-application stage, you can receive valuable insights and recommendations from the local authorities before committing to a formal planning permission application. This can help you address any potential issues or adjustments needed in your design and enhance the likelihood of a successful project outcome. Keep in mind that the specific procedures and requirements may vary by municipality, so it's important to consult with the local planning department for precise details regarding this process 


The level of detail required for a PIP (Pedido de Informação Prévia) or a "Comunicação Prévia de Informação" can vary depending on the local regulations, the complexity of your project, and the specific municipality. However, here are some general guidelines on what information is typically included in a PIP:


  • Basic Project Description: Provide a brief overview of your intended project, including its purpose (residential, commercial, etc.) and a general description of the proposed development.
  • Site Plan: Include a simple site plan that outlines the boundaries of the property, existing structures, and any proposed new structures. This can be a basic sketch, but it should be clear enough to understand the layout.
  • Building Concept: Present a preliminary architectural concept, which might include rough sketches or diagrams of the building's layout, massing, and potential orientation.
  • Building Height and Dimensions: Indicate the approximate height and dimensions of the proposed structures. This can give the authorities an idea of the potential visual impact on the area.
  • Use of the Property: Clearly state the intended use of the property, whether it's residential, commercial, mixed-use, etc.
  • Access and Parking: Describe how access to the property will be achieved and provide a basic outline of parking arrangements, if applicable.
  • Utilities and Services: Mention how essential utilities such as water supply, sewage, electricity, and others will be provided to the site.
  • Environmental Considerations: Briefly address any potential environmental impacts or measures you plan to take to mitigate them.
  • Neighborhood Compatibility: Explain how your project aligns with the character of the surrounding neighborhood and how it contributes positively to the area.
  • Any Specific Questions: If you have any particular questions or concerns about the project's feasibility, you can include those in your PIP.


Remember that the primary goal of the PIP is to provide enough information to allow the local authorities to assess the general feasibility of your project and provide initial feedback. The level of detail doesn't need to be as extensive as what you would include in a formal planning application. However, it should be sufficient to communicate your intentions and allow the authorities to evaluate how well your project aligns with local regulations and policies.


Before submitting your PIP, it's advisable to consult with the local planning department or relevant authorities to ensure you're including the necessary information and meeting their requirements. They can provide specific guidance on what is expected for a successful PIP submission in your particular municipality.


There is no fixed legal time frame specified in Portuguese law for the authorities to reply to a "Pedido de Informação Prévia" (PIP) or a "Comunicação Prévia de Informação." The response time can vary significantly depending on the municipality, the complexity of the project, the workload of the planning department, and other factors.


However, it's generally expected that the local authorities will respond within a reasonable time frame, which can range from a few weeks to a few months. Some municipalities might have their own internal guidelines or delays for response times, but these are not standardized across the entire country. It's a good practice to inquire with the local planning department or the relevant authority when submitting your PIP. They might be able to provide you with an estimated time frame for their response. 


Conclusion: Embrace the chance to gather insights and recommendations from local authorities through the "Comunicação Prévia de Informação." This proactive step ensures that your project aligns with regulations and sets the stage for a successful development journey.