Application for a special development plan (PAP)

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Special development plans (plan d'aménagement particulier - PAP) implement and specify the nature of each area in the general development plan (PAG) of a commune (with the exception of green areas and land plots which are included in a land use plan (plan d'occupation du sol - POS), etc.). PAPs are nevertheless subordinate to PAGs and to the commune's building regulations.

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

Who is concerned

The following can apply for a PAP or request its amendment for a new area:

  • a landowner wishing to develop or change the use of his land;

  • the representative (proxy) of the landowner;

  • the State;

  • the commune or the association of communes.

Only the commune can apply for or amend a PAP for an existing area, i.e. an urbanised area where half the plots have been built on and where all the plots of land are connected to all public utilities and infrastructures.

The amendment of a PAP is necessary in the following cases:

  • a change in the use of a site which requires an amendment of the general development plan
  • development of plots classified as an area under consideration (zone à étude) / future development area (zone différée) or similar;
  • a division of several lots of land;
  • any other development project which does not comply with the PAG, the existing PAP or the commune's building regulations.

How to proceed

Submitting the application

The applicant submits the draft special development plan (with an explanatory report, where applicable), drawn up by a town planning consultant, a planner or by the communal technical service to the board of the mayor and aldermen (communal board - collège des bourgmestre et échevins), which assesses its compliance with the general development plan or draft general development plan.

The development committee's opinion

The board must submit the complete file within 30 days to the assessment unit (cellule d'évaluation) of the development committee at the Ministry of Home Affairs (ministère de l’Intérieur), which has 1 months to issue an opinion.

If the assessment unit does not provide an opinion within the 1-month deadline, the communal council can automatically proceed to the voting stage.


At the same time:

  • the draft general development plan is deposited at the Town Hall within 15 days, where it can be consulted by the public for a period of 30 days;
  • 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.

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 board of the mayor and aldermen, which will invite them to a hearing and draw up a report.

The publication costs are recovered by the commune from the party that has initiated the PAP.

Vote of the communal council

Within 3 months after the assessment unit has given its opinion, the communal board submits the draft special development plan with the opinion and, where applicable, the observations and objections, to the vote of the communal council.

Three types of outcome possible:

  • either the draft plan is adopted in its original form or amended in accordance with the recommendations of the assessment unit or in accordance with the observations and objections made;
  • or the draft plan is amended by the communal council for other reasons, in which case the whole procedure starts over;
  • or the draft plan is rejected and the case is closed.

Decision of the Minister

Within 15 days, the result of the favourable vote is sent to the Minister for Home Affairs who will decide on the approval of the communal council within 3 months. Following the minister's approval, the draft special development plan becomes a special development plan (PAP).

Inquiry periods for applications

The table below provides approximate time frames for each step in the creation or amendment process of a special development plan.

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



Development of the draft special development plan by a qualified person or the communal technical service


Analysis of the conformity of the draft special development plan by the board of the mayor and aldermen

30 days

Opinion submitted by the development committee's assessment unit

1 month (*)

Deposit of the draft special development plan in the town hall and publication on the commune's website for 30 days

Publishing the deposit (via notices, internet, press) for a period of 30 days

Any observations and objections regarding the draft plan are submitted in writing to the communal board
(within 30 days of publication of the deposit in the national daily newspapers)

2 months (*)

Vote of the communal council

3 months

Submission of the draft special development plan to the Minister

15 days

Ministerial decision - Final approval of the PAG

3 months

(*) steps taking place simultaneously

A PAP may be adopted at the same time as a PAG. In this case, the deadlines stated may be extended in accordance with the procedural deadlines for the PAG procedure.

There is a simplified procedure for one-time changes of the PAP.

Who to contact

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  • Communes (communal administrations)

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