3. Local Plans in France

  1. Overview of Local Plans
  2. Plan Local d’Urbanisme
  3. Carte Communale
  4. Risk Prevention Plan
  5. Conservation Areas

3.5. Conservation Areas in France

The local council or central government may choose to declare a conservation area if they consider it to be an area of outstanding aesthetic or historical interest.

There are four types of conservation area but the nomeculature seems to be in a constant state of evolution!

I. Secteur Sauvegardé - These are zones designated within town or city centres. The designation is normally accompanied by a Plan de sauvegarde et de mise en valeur (PSMV). Designation is at the discretion of the central government. The areas are often called Malraux, after the Minister who introduced the law and fiscal incentives available to those who invest in these areas. New designations are now rare, as they have been superceded by later zoning types, discussed below.

II. Zone de Protection du Patrimoine Architectural, Urbain et Paysager (ZPPAUP). These post-date the Secteur Sauvegardé. They are determined by the local council. They are often smaller in size, based around an historic monument or sensitive areas in rural locations.

III. Aires de mise en Valeur de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (AVAP). Since 2010 the ZPPAUP are themselves being replaced by a new appellation, called AVAP. Part of the reason for the change in the name is to give greater priority to sustainable developement, although many consider that these new areas offer less in terms of control and financial support than the ZPPAUP.

IV. Zones naturelles d’intérêt écologique, faunistique et floristique (ZNIEFF). Of more ecological than architectural interest.

There are also particular rules relating to building along the coastline, in mountain areas and in proximity to a forest.

In each case there are additional constraints on development and there may also be financial assistance towards the restoration of a property.

There are formal procedures in place involving the public where the council is considering the creation of new conservation areas.

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