9. Planning Notices for Building in France

An important aspect of the planning procedures will be to ensure that, as soon as planning permission has been granted, you place on the site the standard planning notice for a minimum of two months.

If no notice is placed on the site then the period for objecting to the planning consent remains open.

Once work has started, you or your architect must notify the Mairie and the prefecture of a Déclaration d'ouverture de chantier.

The form will have been supplied with planning consent.

Works must be started within two years of obtaining consent, but can be extended for a further year.

Once the building works have been completed you need notify the planning authority, either the local Mairie or the prefecture.

Once again there is a form, called a Déclaration d’Achèvement des Travaux, which you will have received with your planning consent.

The declaration should be sent by recorded delivery letter.

If the building works were overseen by an architect then they are obliged to state on the declaration that the works have been carried out in conformity with the planning consent.

The works are not then normally inspected by the authorities. Nevertheless, the planning authority (mairie) have three months in which to contest that the works conform to the planning consent, a period which is increased to five months in conservation areas or those covered by a 'risk prevention plan'.

At the expiry of this period you can then request that the the mairie issue a notice stating that the works will not be contested. They have 15 days to comply with such a request.

You can read more about these notices and procedures in our guide to the French Planning System.

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