Building/Planning permission - what happens if it expires?!


This is my first post on here. We got planning permission approved for a run down shack we purchased way back in 2004. We only got around to submitting it in December 2011 and it was approved in 2 weeks much to our shock and delight! Having said this we haven't had the funds to start it and it said on the form that we had 2 years in which to make a start. That runs out in December 2013. We have paid buildings permission tax ? of about 400 euros last year and the final payment is 600 euros this year as I had to fill in a form to say when I anticipated the works would start.

What happens if we don't make a start on the property before December 2013 - will we have to start the whole process again?

Any information and advice would be gratefully appreciated



okay thank you - we didn't employ an architect as we keep the size of the extension to the limit that you don't need one. So would we apply for this extension ourselves to the mayor?

Hi Kate we live in the UK and they posted this form I think - I filled it in and send we anticipated starting last year and we were then sent a bill last year adn will have to pay this year too. We pay fonciere/habitation tax every year even though it is uninhabitable - no water, elec etc but isn't that much think 70 euros for one and can't remember the other. Thank you!

You are correct in assuming that P de C overrides the CU. A commune may change its planning regulations, for whatever reason, but the fact you already have planning permission protects you against any changes that may mean future application may be refused.

In my experience, once planning permission is granted, a new CU would only be required in the event of the sale of the property. It is one of the documents that the notaire requests once the compromis has been signed.

From another blog: "From my own experience the CU is the first step and the time given is for detailed plans to be drawn up and submitted, if the person doing the plans is not able submit plans before the 18 months is up they can apply for the extra time."

The above is absolutely correct.

I would like to add, though, that planning permission can be declared null and void if, after submitting the "déclaration d'ouverture de chantier" and starting work on the property, there is a period of more than 1 year in which you do no further work.

So little and often is the key!

I don't think anyone has mentioned that you can ask for an extra year on top of the two year permit (we asked our architect to do this for us) and then at the end of the third year do some ground works to show work has started. You will then get a form almost annually asking when you anticipate finishing the work but you can just state on the form that the work is not finished and guestimate when you anticipate completion - a year or two down the road for instance.

I don't wish to hijack Natasha's post but this is very much related:

we have a piece of land which we want to sell. It has a valid Permis de Construire but the CU has run out.

Logically one would see that the valid P de C would kind of override the expired validity of the CU and our mayor told me that this would be the case. However the agence immobiller tells me that in fact we do have to reapply for the CU and that the vaild P de C does not automatically override its expiration.

Has anyone any experience of this

You have to declare the "ouverture du chantier" within 2 years - there is a special form with which to do this (which you should've got with your planning approval info) so don't forget to send/take it in to the mairie and get an avis de reception too. We declared ours open in 2006 and still going - we get a reminder each year from the tax office to update the status of the building when complete so they can tax us more fonciere/habitation tax, but we just send it back saying still in progress and give them a revised estimated completion date. No problem as long as you keep them informed.

Yes, I think Steve is right. That's my understanding -- you just need to make a start however small.

Really - that's handy to know although we don't intend for it to take 10 years - mind you we didn't anticipate it would take as nearly 10 to get going on it...!

ok that's very helpful thank you! Best we get a move on!

Code de l'urbanisme: Article R*421-32

Le permis de construire est périmé si les constructions ne sont pas entreprises dans le délai de deux ans à compter de la notification visée à l'article R. 421-34 ou de la délivrance tacite du permis de construire. Il en est de même si les travaux sont interrompus pendant un délai supérieur à une année.

So basically, yes you should start the works within 2 years if you do not want to loose the benefit of the existing "permit" and the works should not be stopped for more than 1 year after they have started.

Good luck with your project...

Thank you - well I'm sure we could stretch to that!

Hopefully someone else will have more concrete info but I thought you just had to make a token effort at starting building like putting up the pillars for the gateway, for that to be considered as the start of construction.

Hi, can anyone advise if I can resubmit existing plans? I failed to do enough to satisfy the continuance of the Ouvre de Chantier… it seems a pity to go through the whole process of drawing up new plans - and paying for them. I understand that I will have to reapply for CU and PC but want to use my current plans. Does this have to be done by the same architect? he may have retired by now!
thanks for any advice

Hi Fiona

I’m wondering in what way you have failed. Whether you have been officially advised of failure or are you just assuming… ??? How old are your Plans…?
(no need to answer, I’m just musing… trying to get a handle on this…)

Whatever… the Mairie is probably the best place to discuss your situation.
They will be au fait with current legislation etc …
Perhaps your Plans will still conform… or perhaps there have been changes to the normes (or whatever) which will mean new Plans are needed… who knows…

From my own experience, I would say that it does not have to be the same architect drawing up new Plans.
New Plans would be just that…

Finding out about your previous Architect… would be a good step.
Is he/she still in business and able to take responsibility for the old Plans and any possible amendments?

When you get talking to the Mairie… it might be useful to have some answers ready…
and I would seriously suggest you make contact asap…

Best of luck

I’ve just noticed you’ve started a separate thread… excellent idea… I’ve answered on that too.

To Anyone coming onto this old thread…

Our council has recently advised “us” (locals) that Planning Permission requests should be put in asap…

Seems that the amount of land within the commune, which can be built-on, is to be reduced by 50%.

This is a result of the “new/latest” 10- year-plan being brought in by the Commune of Communes/and higher up…

Thus anyone who wishes to apply… on land which us currently “constructible”… should do so… since that land might well become declassified and therefore ruin any ideas/hopes you might have for future development.

While this might not apply (yet/if ever) in your own area… might be an idea to check things out at your Mairie…

We had a consultation about this that went on for a good year or so and in fact has been greatly to our benefit. Our local commune has watched ribbon development happen along the road up the hill behind us. With agreement from the commune itself, there has been confirmation that “our” side of the road which leads down to where we live should remain agricultural land. So our old farmhouse (at least for the next 10 years) should not find itself surrounded by tacky boxes.

Your posting Stella seems to imply that this has been imposed from above? Certainly round here it’s come about because it’s what the commune itself wants and has been discussed and voted on.

Hi Sue…

Our council has fought to maintain what it feels is right for our commune … but it has been voted down.

We were asked to review, did so and put forward our submission… huh.
so, yes… we are having these reductions imposed…

(which is why the Maire is telling everyone to think and act… now… rather than be disappointed.)