Hierarchy in Government: The different levels of government in Franceare: The National Government, Regions, Departments, and Communes.
The national government in France is active inland-use governance through its responsibility for the legal frameworkconcerning land-use planning, environmental policy and other policy fields. Itplans and finances infrastructure projects such as motorways, railways andfacilities like universities. In France no national level spatial plan exists The regions influence land use primarily through involvementin the planning and financing of large scaleinfrastructure projects. They prepare a general strategic plan that outlines theirpolicy priorities and develops a spatial vision for the region. The departments do not have any formalresponsibilities in the field of land-use planning. They have limited influenceon land use through their responsibilities for other policy fields, like constructionof schools and departmental roads. Communes have the independence for planningdecisions and they have the responsibility for administering land use plans andfor granting plain permissions. Planning tools:The main body of national rules governing newdevelopment and changes to existing buildings are called Les dispositions impératives du règlement national d’urbanisme (RNU).
The regions create Regional Spatial Planning andDevelopment Schemes as locally oriented medium-term plans. They are also ableto formulate regional economic development plans. The Spatial PlanningDirectives, which set forth the state’s basic policies concerning a specificterritory. At the department level the most importantplanning regime is the Schémas de cohérence territoriale (SCOT). The purpose of the SCOT is to delineate the major spatialdevelopment priorities for the area under examination over the medium tolong-term.
At the commune level, local land-use plans (PLU)provide detailed zoning regulations at scales that range from 1:5000 to1:2000. History: Planning in France evolved under King Henry IVto improve the physical fabric of Paris and control the process of development. The aim was to establish supremacy over thewhole kingdom, in part through a program of public works and, in particular, inthe embellishment of Paris. Aim: To make the best of territorial diversity and tohelp every place optimize its assets. Zoning: At the commune (local), the Plan Local d’Urbanisme (PLU)provides detailed zoning regulations atscales from 1:5000 to 1:2000.
They are made either by a single municipality orjointly by inter-municipal associations. Application and decision: It is usually assumed that the local council,meaning the mayor is responsible for determining planning applications, but thisis not always the case in rural areas.The mayor will formally sign the consent orrefusal on behalf of the public authorities, but they will not always make thedecision. Process: Steps:A permis de construire is the mostelaborate type of planning permission. It is used to build a house or to makeextensions to the property like adding on an extra floor or wing. The permis deconstruire takes time to apply for, it is necessary to have anarchitect help you out, by making plans and models. The waiting period is atleast 2 months for it to be issued.
Between the moment you apply for itand get your number, the application has to be approved by your local Mairieand then by the local Prefecture. If you’re building near Roman ruins orhistorical monuments, the “Architectesdes Bâtiments de France” will have to give their opinionon it too, which means at least a month more of waiting. Once you’ve receivedapproval from the Mairie, you will receive your file with a dedicated number.You will have to wait an extra 2 months for due diligence before you can startworking. The déclaration préalable is adapted to smallerjobs such as changing the color of a render, changing your front entrance,or building a swimming pool. The déclaration préalable takes 1 month to process. In order to apply for a DP, you will need to provide before/after 3Dphotos and a few plans. Once the work is finished, you will have to fill in theforms that the Mairie sent you in your planning permission folder.
TheMairie has between 3-5 months to come and check if everything is inconformity. If they don’t turn up, you are clear and your new building isofficially compliant. Discretion:The mayor can always be influential, andsometimes very influential with officials, but their point of view will notalways be determining. Civil Rights & legal protection: The white posters attached to fences (panneaux d’affichage) arenecessary when any building work is happening in France. They are theproof that you’ve received planning permission. They have to be visible tothe public from the moment you’ve got the OK from the Mairie until you’vefinished your building work.
They list the owner’s name, the PC or DP number,the type of work, the surface that you’re adding, and other generalinformation. From the moment the posters are put up onwards the general public has 2 months to dotheir due diligence. Once those 2 months are over, nobody can legally beopposed to the work you’ve asked planning permission for.