The French Planning Process
Whether buying a property to renovate or a plot of land upon which to build, we provide you with the expertise to ensure that your project meets all aspects of the French legal system. You may already own the building to turn into the home of your dreams or perhaps you’re still searching for that perfect piece of land, but whatever the case, your ‘Grand Design’ will almost certainly need planning consent.
The rules and regulations for applying for planning permission in France are very different to those in force in the UK and our 18 years experience in navigating the system is invaluable in ensuring the process is hassle free.
As a general rule of thumb, any conversion, change of use or extension that adds more than 20 m2 to the total ‘habitable’ floor space of an existing building will require planning consent. Any new free standing building of over 20 m2 (a garage or studio for example) will automatically require a planning application.
The process involves the creation of a dossier containing drawings, photos and information regarding the existing property plus a detailed set of plans conforming to French standards, depicting what the new project entails. We will undertake this process from start to finish, from the initial property visit to discuss your requirements to drawing up the plans and submission of the complete dossier at the local mairie. Response time from the authorities varies but in normal circumstances, this should not exceed two months.
Larger projects which take the total habitable space of the property above 150 m2 will require the intervention of an architect. We work exclusively with French architects who will authorize and submit the dossier on your behalf.
Properties totaling less than 150 m2 –
from 1350 euros + VAT
Properties larger than 150 m2 – from 3800 euros + VAT (these fees include architects drawings )
Any project creating less than 20 m2 of new space does not usually require planning permission and can be covered by a Declaration Prealable. This is often used for the conversion of a garage into a bedroom, a new set of window openings or any modification of the exterior of a building (Velux windows for example)
When installing a swimming pool with a surface area of less than 100 m2, a Declaration Prealable will suffice.
The dossier is a slightly simplified version of the planning application process but requires the same selection of plans and follows the same procedure.
Fees calculated on the volume of work to be undertaken
A Demande d’Assainissement is obligatory for any new drainage installation, be it an individual fosse septic or a connection to local mains drainage.
Having discussed your requirements, we will contact the local authorities and arrange a property visit to enable them to asses an existing system or indicate the requirements for a new one. A dossier and plans are then drawn up and submitted to the local authorities following their recommendations.
Standard application for an individual system 255 euros + VAT
Onsite visits with authorities included – 325 euros plus VAT
Outline planning Permission
A Certfificat d’Urbanisme is usually the first step along the planning route when buying a piece of land upon which to build. Two different versions exist:
A standard CU or Certificat d’Information will confirm whether or not a plot of land can be built on and what the local laws allow.
A Certificat Operationnel is better used when the client already has a clear idea of what they would like to build. The CU Operationnel will confirm if the project is feasible and what the legal constraints may be.
Any potential land purchase should involve a CU to ensure that the plot is viable for construction.
From 225 euros + VAT