Official website of Notaires de France

Land reserved for public facilities

  • What does land reserved mean ?

    • Reserved land is designated when local development plans are adopted or revised. Land is set aside for :
      - thoroughfares : motorways, highways, streets, paths (new routes or widening of old routes),
      - public works (infrastructure such as canals, railways, water treatment plants, transformers, etc. or facilities such as government buildings, schools, hospitals, social and cultural centres, etc.),
      - the facilities in public interest* to create or to modify (this covers campsites and caravan sites for travellers),
      - existing or future green spaces to create or needed for ecological continuity. ­

    • * Three criteria apply when defining such facilities: beneficiaries must be authorised to expropriate, they­ must be able to use the expropriation procedure for the facility in question, and the installation must be used for communal purposes.

  • Who are beneficiaries of this lands reserved

    • Such land is reserved for :
      - local authorities and the legal structures to which they belong (State, regions, départements, communes, communautés urbaines, communautés de communes, etc.),
      - public administrative, industrial and commercial bodies
      - certain private entities responsible for managing public services (public utilities, semi-public companies).

  • Rules for lands reserved

    • This type of reserved land prohibits the owner from building and even using any building rights applicable to the surface area of the land covered.

    • Given these restrictions on the use of its property, the owner in question is entitled to send formal notice to beneficiaries requiring them to buy the building or part thereof covered by the reserved land.

    • The beneficiary and the owner then have one year to come to an agreement.
      When this time is up, either party may apply to the expropriation judge who will rule on the transfer of ownership and decide what compensation is payable to the owner. The judge must be entered within three months after the expiry of this period of one year to ensure that the well is no longer a reserved location.

  • The notaire and lands reserved

    • Experience shows that the issue of reserved land is not uncommon. When drawing up any deed of sale, the Notaire notifies the buyer of the existence and nature of the reserved land.

    • Moreover he advises the clients on the conditions under which the reserved land may be used. This situation may lead to certain people having unpleasant surprises because when negotiating, sellers and intermediaries tend to draw a veil over certain restrictions. On the other hand, your Notaire will tell you the whole truth, clearly and objectively.

See also


The role of the Notaire