Boundary Walls and Fences in France

  1. Is it a Private or Common Wall?
  2. Rights Concerning Private Boundary Walls
  3. Planning Rules on New Construction
  4. Maintenance of Common Boundary Wall
  5. Constructing Against Common Boundary Wall
  6. Increasing Height of Common Boundary Wall
  7. Relinquish Shared Ownership of Wall

3. Planning Rules on New Boundary Walls and Fences

As a general rule, planning permission is not required to construct a boundary fence or wall.

Nevertheless, in certain communes you are required to submit a works notice (declaration préalable) to the mairie.

This notice is mandatory:

  • in those areas specified under a local plan local d’urbanisme (PLU);

  • where the property is within a protected area or near an historic building;

  • where the local council through a plan local d’urbanisme (PLU) have determined that boundary all fences or walls are subject to a works declaration.

You also need to submit a works declaration if the boundary fence or wall is going to be more than 2m in height.

You should make yourself aware of any local planning regulations that exist before you proceed with the work, particularly if you live in a built up area.

You have no need to submit a works declaration if the boundary is to consist of a hedge or a ditch.

Similarly, the repair of an existing wall or fence or its replacement by an identical boundary does not need a notice. To make a works declaration you should go to your local mairie and get a copy of the documents required.

You will need to complete three copies and attach a site plan, a plan and summary of the proposed works, including dimensions and materials to be used.

The mairie (or prefecture if the mairie are not a planning authority) have a month to make a decision.

In the absence of any response within this timescale permission is deemed to have been given implicitly. You can then proceed with the work, although there remains a right of appeal to third parties to the works.

If permission is refused then the mairie must advise you why it has been refused, which may related to traffic safety, the rules of the local plan or the existence of a public servitude.

There are particular rules that govern the installation of an electric perimeter fence.

You will need to ensure that the fence is properly marked with the sign cloture électrique at least every 50 metres.

You should submit an application to your local mairie setting out the details of the fence, which must comply with national regulations governing the quality and safety of the materials to be used and the connection.

Next: Maintenance of a Common Boundary Wall

Back: Rights Concerning Private Boundary Walls

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