Amendment of a general development plan (PAG)

This page was last modified on 01-06-2017

A general development plan (plan d'aménagement général - PAG) exists for each commune. It consists of a series of provisions in graph and written form intended to ensure the:

  • rational use of land;

  • harmonious development of urban and rural structures;

  • respect for cultural heritage and protection of the natural environment;

  • public health and safety;

  • improvement of the population's quality of life;

  • rational use of energy.

With these objectives in mind, the PAG:

  • covers all of the land in a given commune;

  • divides the commune into various areas for which it determines allocation and usage;

  • determines the distribution and development of human activities in each area.

PAGs have to be approved by communal council and the Minister of Home Affairs.

Who is concerned

The communal council (the communal councillors, the mayor and the aldermen) decides whether or not to amend a PAG on the basis of a draft general development plan and a preliminary study, drawn up by a qualified person or the communal technical service on behalf of the communal board (composed of the mayor and aldermen only - collège des bourgmestre et échevins).

Any natural person or legal entity wishing to develop a plot of land or a building following purchase or change of use may contact the communal board with a view to submitting either an application for amendment of a PAG or an application for a special development plan (PAP).

Amendment of the PAG may be necessary if the proposed project does not comply with the existing PAG or PAP in terms of land-use planning or with the building regulations of the commune in question.

Example: a project involving the construction of a commercial building within a residential area does not comply with a commune's PAG. It is therefore necessary to request the amendment of this PAG.

In addition, on the basis of a report drawn up by the communal board, the communal council shall decide, every 6 years at least, whether or not the PAG needs to be updated. This decision must be approved by the Minister for Home Affairs.

How to proceed

Submitting the application

The applicant requesting the amendment of a PAG must present his project to the persons responsible for the development of the commune in order to verify whether or not the planned development can be considered.

The communal board appoints a qualified person to draw up a draft general development plan along with a preliminary study and a presentation report. In certain cases, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) must also be included in the draft plan.

This draft general development plan is presented to the communal council which decides, by vote, whether or not to initiate an amendment procedure for the PAG.

Opinion of the development committee

Within 15 days of a favourable vote by the communal council, the communal board submits the draft plan to the development committee at the Ministry of Home Affairs (Ministère de l'Intérieur) for an opinion. The committee has 4 months to:

  • verify that the draft plan is compliant with the law;
  • make additional proposals for improvement to supplement the study, if necessary;
  • issue an opinion on the draft plan.

First publication

At the same time:

  • the draft general development plan is deposited within 15 days in the town hall, where the public can consult the plan during 30 days, and it is published on the commune's website during the same period of time;
  • the deposit of the draft plan is published by means of notices displayed in the commune and also in at least 4 national daily newspapers;
  • at least one information meeting is organised for the general public.

After publication of the notice in the national daily newspapers, persons wishing to submit their observations or objections have 30 days in which to send these in writing to the communal board, which will invite them to a hearing and draw up a report.

Vote of the communal council

Within 3 months of receipt of the development committee's opinion, the communal council shall cast a vote on the draft general development plan:

  • either the draft plan is adopted in its original form or amended in accordance with the recommendations of the development committee, the opinion of the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure (ministre du Développement durable et des Infrastructures) or the observations made by claimants;
  • or the draft plan is amended by the communal council for other reasons, in which case the file is once again submitted to the development committee for its opinion and the procedure starts again;
  • or the draft plan is rejected.

Any person who submitted a complaint following the first publication will be notified of the result of the vote.

Second publication

Within 8 days, the results of the vote are displayed in the commune during 15 days. Claimants then have 15 days in which to submit their objections to the Minister for Home Affairs. The Minister will ask the development committee and the communal council for their opinions.

The following can submit complaints about the vote of the communal council:

  • any person who submitted a written observation during the publication stage;
  • and any persons who have objections or observations regarding the amendments made to the draft plan following the new vote.

Decision of the Minister

The result of the favourable vote is sent within 15 days to the Minister for Home Affairs who will rule on the approval by the communal council within 3 months. Following the minister's approval, the draft general development plan shall become a general development plan (PAG).

In the event of claims following the second vote, the minister shall ask the development committee and the communal council for a further opinion before ruling on the draft.

Application processing deadlines

The table below provides approximate deadlines for each step in the amendment of a general development plan.

The time frames for the procedure are given in calendar days.

Steps

Deadlines

Submission of the project by the interested party and drawing up of the draft general development plan by the communal technical service or by a qualified person appointed by the communal board

-

Vote of the communal council on the procedure to modify the PAG

-

Submission of the draft general development plan to the development committee and deposit of the plan in the Town Hall

15 days

Opinion of the development committee

4 months (*)

Deposit of the draft general development plan in the town hall and publication on the commune's website (within 15 days following the vote and for a period of 30 days)

Publishing the deposit (via notices, press)

Information meeting for the general public

Any observations and objections regarding the draft plan are submitted in writing to the communal board (within 30 days)

Where applicable, invitation of claimants to a hearing by the communal board prior to the vote

2.5 months (*)

Vote of the communal council on the PAG

3 months

(may be extended by 3 months on request)

Publication of the communal council's decision

8 days

Duration of publication of decision and notification of decision to those concerned

15 days

Objections against the final vote

15 days

Opinion of the development committee and the communal council on the objections (**)

3 months

Ministerial decision - Final approval of the PAG

3 months

(*) steps taking place simultaneously

(**) these steps apply if there are objections to the final vote

 

Who to contact