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Normally when a house is being renovated or improved in France you are required to apply for either a Permis d'Aménager, if the work requires planning permission, or a Déclaration Préalable/des Travaux, if it doesn't.

In our particular case we initially had to apply for a Certificate d'Urbanisme because we were converting a formerly agricultural property into a private dwelling. After that was granted we then had to then apply for a Permis de Construire, which is normally required for new-build. Because of the change of use, the renovation was considered new-build. We got the planning permission through after only 7 weeks. We'd expected up to a three month wait

The Permis d'Aménager/Construire is a detailed form which can be filled in online and printed. It asks the usual stuff about the house details and your plans for the renovation. The most challenging aspect of the application is the supplementary documents which are requested. There are seven in all, ranging from a town plan of the location (Cadastre) - with the plot highlighted, to a 3d representation of the proposed development. I've listed them with examples below. Click on the images to view a popup page of the full sized document.

01 Un Plan de Situation du Terrain.

This is a ground plan of the house and area, which is known as a Cadastre, with the house highlighted.

02 Un Plan de Masse des Constructions à édifier ou à modifier & 06 Une Photographie Permettant de Situer le Terrain dans l'Environnement Proche et dans le Paysage.

I mixed these two together because in 01 you are requred to show a general ground plan of the building you're going to be working on and in 06 place that in the landscape with photographs to demonstrate the immediate vicinity. It made more sense to put them both together because otherwise 02 would have seemed like an enlarged version of 01. No one quibbled.

03 Un Plan de Coupe du Terrain et de la Construction

Vertical and horizontal cross sections of the building. Beginning with a cross section of the gable ends of the building.

Cross sections of the ground floor with before and afters.

Cross sections of the first floor with before and afters.

04 Une Notice Décrivant le Terrain et Présentant le Projet

You are required to describe the general features of the land, e.g. any rights of way etc and the envisaged development.


05 Un Plan des Façades et des Toitures

Before and after plans of the building façades and roofing, beginning with the gable ends.

Front elevation with the ground incline.

Back elevation with the ground incline.

07 Un Plan de Composition d’Ensemble du Projet Coté dans les Trois Dimensions.

A plan of the overall composition of the project in three dimensions. I quite liked doing this bit because it's something i've done before but it must be a real pain for anyone not particularly into computers or 3d software.