6. Making a Planning Application in France
- Who Decides?
- Getting Planning Advice
- Submitting the Planning Application
- Procedural Timescales
- Public Notice Requirements
- Extension of Planning Consent
6.5. Public Notice Requirements
If consent is granted there then follows a public notice procedure.
The applicant must display a notice on the site, which must remain during the whole of construction period. The site notice must be clearly visible to the public.
The notice must measure not less than 80cm x 80 cm and must contain specific information. You should be able to obtain a standard notice for your use from your mairie or the préfecture.
Failure to properly display the notice can result in a fine of €1500.
More importantly, during the first two months during which the notice is displayed, the planning decision can be contested by third parties.
It is imperative you place the notice on your site, and to do so in the proper form, as failure to do so will grant potential oppenents the continued right to contest the decision.
The obligation to prove that the notice was placed on the site in a correct manner, and for a sufficiently long duration, lies with the applicant.
Where you are concerned about a potential the lack of proof (if, for instance, you think it will be contested by your neighbours), you may wish to consider getting a huissier (an official bailiff) to act as the independant witness. This practice is not unusual.
The mairie must also place a decision notice on the town hall notice board for at least two months, although a failure by them to do so does not delay start of the period for contesting the consent.
The mairie also have a period of three months when they can withdraw the planning consent that may have been granted, on the grounds that is was granted illegally. There are procedures that need to be followed here and it is not common. However, if a complainant drew the attention of the planning authority to some irregularity in procedure then it would be possible for the mairie to withdraw the consent they have granted.
A similar right exists for the local préfet for a two month period after the consent was granted.
This is the main reason why notaires sometimes insist on the expiry of a three month period before deeming a planning consent to be definitive.
Where the planning consent was obtained by fraud then no time limit applies to the right of the mairie to withdraw the consent.
There is no publicity requirement for a planning application that is refused consent.
A planning consent granted in France is for the benefit of the applicant only, although you can make application for it to be transferred. This is normally a formality, but can get complicated if the consent is for business or agricultural use, as the authorities may wish to consider if you are capable of the use.
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