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Sustainable development, Notaires take action


According to the official definition, sustainable development is a form of business development aimed at combining economic and social progress and respect for the environment, which is considered to be part of the heritage we hand on to future generations.

This notion is particularly important for water management but it also affects housing, town planning and noise, in other words our daily life.
We must therefore be fully informed in order to apply the standards correctly, particularly when it comes to real estate.

  • If you want to sell or buy a property:

    • Please consult guides "Buying a property' and "Selling a property".

    • You must be aware of the status of the risks attached to each promise to sell.

    • This informs you whether the property you are buying is located in an area covered by a PPR (Plan de Prévention des Risques Naturels - Prevention Plan of Natural Risks) for events such as flooding, subsidence, earthquakes, etc. or a PPRT (Plan de Prévention des Risques Technologiques - Prevention Plan of Technological Risks), which is more unusual and applies to dangerous, Seveso-type industrial facilities.

    • This obligation applies even if your property is in the process of being covered by a PPR. Even though the information is compulsory, it remains confidential and incomplete.

    • The notaire may advise you to read a more complete document: the DDRM (Dossier Départemental des Risques Majeurs - Département File of Major Risks) made available at the Prefectures and on their websites.

    • This document includes a list of all the risks to which the municipalities in the département are subject.

    • It should be noted that no information pertaining to noise is currently compulsory even though a European Directive in 2002. This directive which requires the government to develop strategic noise maps and noise prevention plans in the environment has been codified into French law by Articles L 572-1 and following of the Code of 'environment.

  • The use of water for domestic purposes is also strictly regulated

    • Concerns all groundwater abstraction structures, wells and boreholes, for purposes of domestic use.

    • This includes water intended for human consumption, personal hygiene and animal and plant production. In any event, is likened to a household water levy any lower or equal to 1 000 m3 of water per year, whether by a natural or legal person and he is using one facility or several.

    • Any project, any intention or realization of groundwater sampling to work for domestic use must be declared in town hall.

    • The Prefecture must be notified and give its authorisation before water is taken from the non-domestic water supply.

    • The new owner must be connected within two years of being granted access to the public sewerage system. The owner must have the septic tank and similar facilities decommissioned to prevent them from damaging the system.

    • It is also prohibited to drain waste water other than domestic (bathroom, kitchen, toilet) water into the public sewerage system.
      Under all circumstances, the law requires the authorities to endeavour to collect environmental information or have it collected, and ensure that it is accurate, up-to-date and made available to the public.

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Ustainable development is playing an increasingly important part in our daily lives and we should take this fact into account.

Given that sustainable development issues are playing a bigger part in our legislation, notaires are at hand to provide guidance and contribute to the laws being properly implemented.

On the same subject :

See also


The role of the Notaire