Check out this report by India Block titled “Sagrada Familia agrees [to] €36 million payment after building 136 years with no permit.” In summary, the famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, which has been under construction since 1882 (!), never received a building permit from the city. The historic cathedral (pictured below), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí and is still under construction. According to Ms Block’s report, the trustees of the Sagrada Familia have now agreed to pay €36 million (£31 million) in installments to the city. “In return for the money, the [city] will officially regularise the work and the basilica will be able to formalise its permit to complete the design …”
So, what would have happened if the trustees had refused to pay for the building permit? Would the city have halted construction on the 136-year project? (The cathedral is still under construction and is not scheduled to be completed until the year 2026.) Next time, maybe the trustees should request a variance!