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Consult Your Local Plan

Buying the right property is as much about finding out what is happening in the area as it is about the property itself.

One of the best ways to learn more about the commune is to consult the local plan.

Local councils in France are required to determine the planning rules and development plans for their area through the preparation of a local plan.

The plan may be called either a Plan Local d’Urbanisme (PLU) or a Carte Communale (CC).

A Plan Local d’Urbanismeis more likely to be prepared by the larger local councils, whilst the Carte Communale will be found in smaller rural communes that have neither the resources nor the necessity to prepare a full local plan.

In some cases local councils have got together and prepared a joint local plan.

Whilst the Plan Local d’Urbanisme is detailed document that sets out clear development zones and planning rules, the Carte Communale is less comprehensive, with often little more than zoning of areas and few, if any, planning rules.

A local plan is also likely to include information on the development history of the area, as well as other interesting information about the local economy, demography and physical infrastructure.

Some smaller rural councils have not even got around to the preparation of a Carte Communale, in which case planning decisions in the area follow national planning rules.

You can read more about local plans and making a planning application in France by reading our comprehensive guide to the French Planning System.

This article was featured in our Newsletter dated 15/02/2011

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