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What Is The Difference Between Building Permits And Pre-Works Declaration?

the difference between building permits and pre-works declaration

The execution of works, whether they concern an existing building or a new one, may be subject to the obtaining of an administrative authorization. For example, if, after insulating your attics, you decide to develop them, you will have to file a preliminary declaration of works or a building permit application according to the floor area concerned by the development work. Find below a summary of these two administrative formalities to be carried out near the municipality where the work will take place.

Building permit

The works concerned

A building permit is required in the following cases:

  • any new construction with the exception of garden sheds of less than 5m², swimming pools of less than 10 m² and new constructions requiring only a prior request for work (see below);
  • works creating an increase of 20m² or more of the floor area or the footprint. This limit can be increased to 40m² or more if the existing building will be modified if located in an area covered by a land use plan (POS) or by a local urban plan (PLU);
  • all work leading to an area of ​​the entire building greater than 170m ²;
  • change of destination of a building with modification of the façade or supporting structures;
    work on a historical monument.

Administrative procedures

The application file for a building permit consists of a form and supporting documents listed in the notice attached to the form. It must be filed in 4 copies with the town hall of the municipality in which the work must take place. It is also possible to send it in LRAR. If the work concerns a new construction of more than 50m² in metropolitan France, it will also be necessary to join a study on energy sources.

Upon receipt of the file, the town hall issues a receipt with a registration number and the date on which the work can start in the absence of opposition from the public authorities.

The instruction period is 2 or 3 months. The agreement of the town hall is manifested by a municipal decree. In the absence of a response, this means that it does not oppose the work but it is advisable to request a certificate to that effect.

Finally, in case of refusal, you can ask the town hall to review its position. If that does not succeed, you have a period of 2 months from the notification of the refusal decision to seize the administrative court.

Prior declaration of work

The works concerned

A preliminary declaration of works is obligatory in the following cases:

  • any new construction or work on an existing building resulting in the creation of a floor area or a footprint of between 5m² and 20m². This limit can be increased to 40m² if the existing building is located in an area covered by a PLU or POS. Attention, if this work has the consequence that the surface of all the construction is greater than 170m ², a building permit will be obligatory;
  • change of destination of a building without modification of the façade or supporting structures;
    work modifying the external appearance of the building (replacement of a window, choice of a new paint color for the facade …) with the exception of the renovation work which aims to restore the facade to its original state (unless the building is on the edge of a historic monument or if the local plan requires it).

Administrative procedures

The pre-work declaration file consists of a form and supporting documents listed in the notice attached to it. It must be completed in duplicate and given to the town hall of the municipality in which the work must take place, either in person or in LRAR.

Upon receipt of the file, the town hall issues a receipt on which are noted a registration number and the date on which the work can begin in the absence of opposition.

The instruction period is one month from the filing of the application. If you agree, you have two years to complete the work. It is possible to obtain a one-year extension in certain cases. Once started, they can not be interrupted more than one year in a row. In case of refusal, you can ask the town hall to review its position. In the absence of a favorable response to this request, you have a period of 2 months from the notification of the refusal decision to seize the administrative court.

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