DEFINITION OF CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
The building permit can be defined as the authorization given by an administrative authority to build one or more new constructions or to modify one or several existing constructions, prior to the execution of the works.
He must respect the rules of town planning, in particular those concerning the implantation of constructions, their destination, their nature, their external appearance and the development of their surroundings.
WHO ESTABLISHES THE REQUEST FOR A BUILDING PERMIT?
It is up to the owner (s) of the land (s), or their agents, to prepare the application for a building permit. This person must simply certify that they meet the conditions to apply for a permit. Several applicants can now jointly file a single permit application.
WHAT ARE THE WORKS FOR WHICH THE BUILDING PERMIT IS REQUIRED?
The Code distinguishes between new constructions and works on existing constructions.
New constructions requiring a building permit are:
- any new construction for residential use or not, on bare ground (even without foundations), resulting in the creation of a floor area or a footprint greater than 20m2, regardless of its height,
- pools with a coverage of over 1.80m in height and a pool of between 10 and 100m2
- wind turbines equal to or greater than 12 m in height (mast + platform),
- chassis and greenhouses higher than 4m in height, or chassis and greenhouses with a height greater than 1.80m and a surface area greater than 2000m2,
- works and accessories of electric power distribution lines, if the voltage is greater than or equal to 63 000 volts.
- Work on existing constructions subject to permits are:
- any work that creates a floor area or a footprint greater than 20 m2. In urban areas covered by a PLU or planning document in lieu, this threshold of 20m2 is raised to 40m2. Below this 40m2 the file to be filed will be a "prior declaration" if however the total area of the building does not exceed 170m2.
- any project that changes the destination of existing premises by modifying the façade or supporting structures of the building. Now the annexes are considered to be of the same destination as the main building. Thus the transformation of the garage from a house into a dwelling is no longer considered as a change of destination and no longer requires a prior declaration.
- the work necessary to carry out a property restoration operation (rehabilitation, modernization or demolition leading to the transformation of the living conditions of a building or a group of buildings).
- work on an historic monument building or constructions located in protected areas, including the PSMV (Plan de Sauvegarde et Enhancement) is approved (see details in the following questions).
WHAT RISK TO BUILD WITHOUT A BUILDING PERMIT?
Penalties are provided for persons in breach of the rules (obstruction of access, failure to display, construction without a permit or not in accordance with the permit). These acts constituting infringements of the urban planning code are liable to criminal prosecution and penalties. The limitation period for infringements is 3 years.
HOW TO CONSTITUTE A BUILDING PERMIT FILE?
The application for a building permit must be made to the municipality of the municipality where the land is located or printed on different forms Cerfa No. 13406 * 02 (application for building permit for a house and / or its annexes) or Cerfa no. 13409 * 02 (application for building permit with or without demolitions).
Some documents must be attached to the file in all cases:
- a site plan of the land,
- a master plan of buildings to be built or modified,
- a plan for cutting the land and building,
- a notice describing the field and presenting the project,
- a plan of facades and roofs,
- a photograph allowing to locate the ground in the near environment and in the landscape.
The application for a building permit and the accompanying file must be made in 4 copies. One or two additional copies may be requested especially when the land is located within the protection perimeter of a historic building and is subject to the opinion of the architect of the buildings of France or located in a national park.
The complete file (application for building permit and documents to be provided) must be deposited directly at the town hall where the land is located or sent by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.
WHAT ARE THE HOLDUPS
TO OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION TO BUILD?
The deadlines are now predictable and guaranteed by a receipt that is issued at the time of filing a complete file at the town hall. The deadline will be counted from this filing date. If the file is sent to the town hall by registered mail with request for acknowledgment of receipt, the date is mentioned on the acknowledgment of receipt.
The deadlines are:
- 2 months for the building permit of a detached house and / or its annexes
- 3 months for other constructions.
The administration has one month from the filing of the application to notify the applicant that mandatory documents are missing or that, due to certain mandatory consultations, the time limits are extended. The deadline is counted from date to date (ex: deposit, August 1, 2013, deadline for decision, November 1, 2013).
Without response from these services, their opinion will be deemed favorable; it is a tacit license and you can request a certificate attesting to it.
If the opinion of the architect of the buildings of France (ABF) is required, the period will be, depending on the case, three or four months for a building permit.
An extract of the application for a building permit must be posted at the town hall within 8 days following its filing and remain so throughout the investigation of the file, that is to say for at least 2 or 3 months.
CAN I CHANGE ITS PROJECT ONCE THE BUILDING PERMIT IS DEPOSITED?
The project can be modified if you apply for a building permit. The new building permit does not mean the withdrawal of the previous one, it does not interrupt the period of validity of this one, nor does it prolong it.
WHAT ARE THE PERIODS OF VALIDITY OF A BUILDING PERMIT?
When the permit application has a favorable opinion, the construction must be carried out within 2 years from its notification. This period may be extended by one year (and only once) upon request made two months before the expiry time, otherwise the application for a building permit will be canceled. If, after this period of 2 years, the work is interrupted for a period longer than 1 year, the building permit will also be canceled.
IS DISPLAYING THE PERMIT REQUIRED?
Upon notification of the deemed favorable (tacit) decision of the building permit, the applicant must post the permit in the field, legibly from the public highway, on a rectangular panel whose sides are greater than 80cm and during any the duration of the work. Failure to display can be sanctioned because the file of the building permit must be able to be consulted in town hall by any interested person. The display in the field determines the starting point for the third-party appeal period against the building permit, which lasts for two months.
WHAT FORMALITY MUST BE COMPLETED
BEFORE THE WORK AND ONCE THE WORK IS COMPLETE?
Before starting the work, it is advisable to send a declaration of opening of site in three copies to the urbanism services of the town hall. When the works are completed, the beneficiary of the building permit sends a declaration attesting the completion of the works (DAT) by registered letter with AR or the deposit against discharge at the town hall. In this declaration, the beneficiary undertakes to comply with the permit, which will close the litigation appeal period before the administrative courts.
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE THE WORK CONTROLLED TO DETERMINE THE RESPECT FOR THE BUILDING PERMIT?
It is under the responsibility of the applicant for the building permit (owner of the land or agent) that the works were carried out in accordance with the authorization issued to them.
The responsible authority may challenge the conformity of the work within 3 months to 5 months; after this period she can no longer dispute it. It will be necessary to carry out an on-site verification of this compliance in sectors with national stakes (sites, safeguarded sectors, sectors covered by a natural risk prevention plan, etc.).
Elsewhere, the verifications will be made on the initiative of the mayor and the competent department. If the work does not comply with the authorization, the administration gives notice to the contracting authority to file a modifying permit or to bring the works into conformity.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE REMEDIES FOR CONTESTING A BUILDING PERMIT?
The building permit is a public administrative authorization, issued subject to the right of third parties. The display in the field is the starting point for the 2-month period during which a third party (for example a neighbor) can challenge a building permit if he considers that it is prejudicial to him and that it is contrary urban planning rules. The appeal is inadmissible beyond one year from the completion of the construction.
The remedies are of two kinds:
- Either an action for annulment of the building permit before the administrative court to challenge a building permit that has not been taken in the required forms. It is therefore preferable to wait until the end of the appeal period of third parties (2 months from the display) to start the work. It is also advisable to confirm the posting by the attestation of a bailiff, a relative or a neighbor.
- This is a judicial remedy to sanction buildings without a permit or not in accordance with the permit.