Official website of Notaires de France

Planning permission


A permit to construct is an administrative act that allows the government to control the work, facilities and developments affecting land use in a given field.­

  • Planning permission is required for?

    • public car parks with at least 50 spaces,

    • developing golf courses of over 25 hectares (61.7 acres),

    • creating or extending campsites for over 20 people or more than 6 tents,

    • redeveloping existing campsites or residential leisure parks, thereby increasing the number of plots by 10% or changing the greenery,

    • developing land for motor sports,

    • developing amusement parks or games areas with surface area of over 2 hectares (4.94 acres),

    • land consolidation performed by a Free Urban Property Management Association (association foncière urbaine libre),

    • ground excavation or raising over 2 metres deep/high over a surface area of at least 2 hectares,

    • creating or extending residential leisure parks

    • a housing development­ from two building lots with construction or lanes, spaces, or common equipment that the project is located in a listed or in a conservation area (in these two areas, the license to develop is needed in the 1st posting)

    • The application should be sent to the town hall by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt or delivered by hand in exchange for a receipt.

  • Period and decision

    • Unless stipulated otherwise, the appraisal/consultation period is 3 months, from the filing date of the application.
    • Permission will either be granted or refused and the reasons given, or proceedings will be adjourned.

    • If permission is granted and the work has not begun within 3 years,­ and after this time they are interrupted for more than one year, ­the permission becomes null and void.

    • No promise to sell may be agreed in any form or under any conditions before planning permission is issued.

    • Once planning permission has been granted and before work has begun on the services or the work completion bond issued, only unilateral promises to sell (Subjected to a special regime under Planning Code) ­are accepted.

  • Role of the notaire and planning permission

    • Planning permission leaves no room for amateurs. It is a document authorising work often on a large scale. Regulations are stringent in order to cover potential buyers. The notaire ensures that the administrative requirements are met, thoroughly checks compliance with the procedure and only records instruments /deeds as the work proceeds. The validity of the instruments/deeds depends on what stage in the procedure work has reached.

    • The notaire also ensures that the conditions for implementing the insurance guarantees and work completion bonds are properly complied with. The notaire has a key role in ensuring the legal requirements are met in order to protect the potential buyer.

See also


French property market report / N°31


The role of the Notaire