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Want to build on farmland in France?

What you need to know for construction on agricultural land in France

Anyone who wants to build on agricultural land will, as you would expect, have certain bureaucratic issues to deal with before a brick can be laid.

Certain conditions are necessary to make an agricultural land constructible.

Two procedures are possible: modification and/or revision.

The first step is to make a request to the town hall of the place where your land is located to modify the local planning document.

As a general rule, such a request will be accepted only if the project is of real benefit to the municipality and if certain conditions are met:

  • No harm to the general economy of the development project and sustainable development of the plan in force;
  • No reduction of a classified wooded area or a natural and forested zone;
  • No serious risk of nuisance. A modification process requires the plans to be submitted to a public inquiry. It must also be submitted to consultation with a number of authorities and bodies concerned, and to the deliberation of the municipal council. The revision procedure is used if the modification procedure is legally impossible, although the steps are essentially the same as in the case of a modification procedure.

Under French law, landowners who sell undeveloped agricultural land, made constructible following the modification of the local urban plan (PLU), must pay a tax on the capital gain realised on the occasion of the sale.

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