7. Planning Appeals in France
7.4. Breach of Planning Consent in France
If the planning consent is granted on a legal and proper basis but there is a later breach of this consent there are both civil and criminal sanctions that can be applied.
In this sense a breach occurs when construction or certain other activities take place contrary to the consent that was granted.
So, failing to comply with any condition or limitation to which planning permission has been granted would be grounds on which to bring a legal action.
A breach may also occur where construction takes place without any planning permission having been granted.
As usual there are time limits on the right to bring the case before the courts.
In the case of a civil action, where the project received planning consent or a works declaration, the right is time limited from completion of the unauthorised works, which may be as little as six months for works that have been completed.
Where it infringes private property rights, then the right to legal action is thirty years, but only where it can be demonstrated that the offender action in bad faith. Otherwise the time limit is ten years.
In relation to criminal proceedings, the time limit is three years from completion of works.
The mayor and the prefecture also have powers to order suspension of the works if they consider it is being carried out in breach of planning regulations.
Conversely, the beneficiary of an planning consent can obtain from the administrative court a certificate of non-recourse or, in the event of any appeal, the date of its registration.
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