Guide to the French Planning System
Thursday 15 March 2007
If you are buying property in France then it is a fair bet you are going to encounter the planning authorities.
Do not panic. Normally, it is not an unpleasant experience.
There is a stronger presumption to grant planning consent than is often the case in many countries, notably the UK.
Those accustomed to detailed planning regulations found in the UK will rarely find the same experience in France.
One notable area where detailed controls do not exist is in relation to building control and inspection. It would be unusual for you to receive a visit from an inspector, as the strict system of building control and inspection with which those from the UK are familiar does not exist in France.
As part of the Guide we provide some contextual pages on the wider planning system, which you may find useful, not only in relation to your own planning application, but also in learning about your commune or region.
We tell you how you can get free planning and architectural advice, and how you should go about appointing an architect. If you are proposing a major building project, then your planning application will be declared invalid if you do not use one.
If you are refused planning consent, we tell you how you can appeal against the decision, and how you can also contest planning decisions made in your neighbourhood.
Finally, we outline the planning taxes for which you may be liable. Whilst there is no planning application fee, there are later taxes to pay if you should receive consent.
You can read the Guide by visiting French Planning System.