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French property law: preliminary declaration of works

The preliminary declaration of works is an administrative deed which empowers the administration to verify that your building project complies with the urban planning rules.


Why a preliminary declaration of works?

These preliminary declaration of works are necessary in the following cases:

  • The constructions which is the footprint, or floor area greater than 5 m2 and the following cumulative criteria: a height above the ground less than or equal to 12m; a grip to lower ground or equal to 20m2; a floor surface less than or equal to 20m2;
  • The threshold of 20m2 to 40m2 is covered in urban areas during work if the municipality is covered by a PLU or POS;
  • Light residential Implantation surface leisure less than 35m²;
  • The voltage power lines below 63,000 volt;
  • The construction of walls whose height above the ground is greater than or equal to 2m;
  • The pools of less than or equal to 100m2 area not covered or whose coverage (fixed or mobile) is greater than 1,80m;
  • The frames and greenhouses with a height between 1,80m and 4m and a floor area not exceeding 2000m2;
  • The ground-based solar power generation equipment having a peak power of less than 3kW
  • The pits required for agriculture in the basin has an area larger than 10m2 and up to 100m2;
  • The following buildings since they are in the saved or protected sectors: Building with a floor surface and the footprint is less than 20m2 ; ground-based solar power generation equipment having a peak power of less than 3kW, walls (regardless of height); fences;
  • Work that modifies the initial appearance of a building for example: the replacement of a window or door with another model, the drilling of a new window, or the choice of a new paint color for the facade.
  • Changes in the destination of a building (for example, the transformation of a commercial space into a dwelling) without modification of the load-bearing structures or the facade of the building.
  • Remediation work carried out in protected areas, for example: in the perimeter of a remarkable heritage site, the surroundings of historical monuments or in a classified site.

Decision of the mayor and response time

The declaration does not exempt to ask the authorizations provided by other texts that the French Planning Code (eg for a co- ownership , certain amendments require the approval of the general meeting).

Various projects are subject to prior declaration to the town hall. The time limit is one month from the filing date (if the file is complete and with some exceptions).

At the end of that period, the competent authority may issue a certificate of no objection to the declaration or object to the declaration. If she remains silent, this silence is tacit decision of non-opposition. In this case, a no objection certificate may be issued on request.

Frequently asked questions