+44 (0)1865 582382
estate agents


Obtaining Planning Permission for French Properties


Converting outbuildings or building new extensions can be a very attractive and lucrative option for many home owners in France.  Planning permission can be obtained but there are a few points to consider in order to comply with regulations.  We have listed the main considerations to help you if you are considering a rebuild or conversion.

Planning Dossier

You will need to collate a list of documents if you are intending to extend, build or convert.  The main ones are:

  • Application forms (including tax declarations)


  • Location map (plan de situation) which shows the geographic location of the whole property and the scale.


  • Site plan (plan de masse) showing the property with all existing building and proposed ones.  This should also include boundaries, access, service connections, driveway, parking and trees, etc.  The common scale is 1:500.


  • A cross-section of the land (plan en coupe) from boundary to boundary including proposed buildings and existing ones.  This should also show any proposed changes or new buildings.  The scale depends on the plot size, but it is usually 1:250 or 1:500.


  • Written description of the project (notice de presentation).  This should include what you are planning to change and the materials and colours you are intending to use as well as any changes to access.


  • Floor plans showing the existing elevations and proposed ones.  This should also provide information about the finished appearance.  The common scale for this is 1:100.


  • Artist’s impression or architectural images of the finished project (document graphique). 


  • Close up and long range photographs of the property.


  • If the drainage for the property is on septic tank and the project is proposing to modify the existing level of the accommodation you will need a septic tank report (attestation de conformite).


  • A thermal insulation report (RT2012) similar to the UK’s EPC report showing that the proposed work complies with current energy efficiency regulations.


The planning dossier must be sent to the nearest town hall (Mairie) to the property.  It then will be sent to the regional planning office.  The town hall will issue you with a receipt and a reference number which you use for any communication about the planning of your project.  The timescale for receiving the result of your application ranges from two to six months.  If successful the Mairie will send a written approval with an additional note of conditions if applicable.  If the application is refused there will be a letter stating the reasons.  Approvals are valid for a period of three years.  On completion of the project you will need to declare this at the Mairie within 90 days.     


Rightmove Zoopla Smart Currency