Planning to install your swimming pool or build your extension?
Then, Plan, Plan, Plan!
Whether you are an up and coming British Expat planning to leave the UK for France, build your dream house in France or buy a holiday home in France, then don’t forget to plan.
Although many properties in France’s La Charente appear to offer a vast amount of land to build your dream whether that swimming pool to attract your holiday guests, an extension for Cordon cuisine courses or a simple patio to enjoy the daily Charentaise sunshine, French planning restrictions may turn your dream into a nightmare if you fail to follow French rules. Indeed, don’t take it for granted that, because your voisin, neighbour, has built a garage without permission, you may do the same. Your voisin could receive a fine and/or be asked to demolish the structure no matter how professionally built with quality materials the build may be.
Is obtaining planning a difficult process?
Obtaining planning may not be a difficult process, although it may be challenging if you do not speak adequate French.
First approach your commune’s Marie. If possible, contact the Marie’s Secretary who will possibly give you a copy of the ‘Extrait du Plan Cadastral’ together with the necessary papers to start your planning process. Alternatively, go online to:
https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/R2028 – ‘’Déclaration préalable (construction et travaux non soumis à permis de construire portant sur une maison individuelle et/ou ses annexes)’’ and click ‘Telecharger le formulaire’ to receive the 8 Page Application Form. You may not need all the pages for your build project and the Marie’s Secretary may remove the pages that aren’t required as the application covers most builds in France.
Once you have download your application form, then complete the form:
Add your Plot Number
The plot number should be your property’s official purchase papers. Alternatively, the Marie’s Secretary should be able to let you have a note of your plot number.
Take photographs of the surrounding location to your proposed build and its actual location. These photographs may consist of other buildings, roads and agricultural land. You will need 2 to 3 colour copies of the photographs, although check with your Marie’s Secretary as more copies may be required.
Draw a location plan – a scale of 1:1250 to fit on to a piece of A3 paper may be acceptable. The location plan should outline roads, nearby and attached buildings. Also, show the direction of ‘North’ on your location plan.
‘The Block Plan’ is sometimes referred to as the ‘Site Plan’ which is a more detailed location plan. Draw your Block Plan in a scale 1:200 – 1:500 showing the direction of ‘North’, boundaries together with dimensions, any trees on the site as well as nearby and attached buildings as well as roads adjoining the site. Highlight on the plan your proposed build project together with dimensions.
Floor Plans and Elevations
Draw your proposed build’s floor plans and elevations in a scale of 1:100. If detailing is required to show a specific item, then a scale 1:1 to 1:100 may be needed.
Proposed North, South, East and West Elevations may be necessary detailing the proposed materials to be used together with dimensions.
Once you have completed your Application, then do not forget to take a copy of the paperwork together with coloured photographs and drawings for your records.
Once you have submitted your completed application to the Marie’s Secretary or office, you will be provided with a stamped receipt with an allocated planning number for your submission.
If you are working to a limited budget, then you may wish to carry out your planning proposal drawings. However, it may be more cost-effective to contact an architect or drawing service to work on your behalf for proposed build.