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The legislation regarding the protection of nature and natural resources aims to control all activities or constructions that could have an impact on the landscape and on the flora and fauna.
An authorisation from the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development is therefore necessary for all works concerning the transformation of existing buildings or for construction works in certain areas, such as close to a watercourse or in a "green area".
The application for the 'nature protection' permit must be submitted to the Department of the Environment.
Who is concerned
Any natural or legal person must submit an application for a 'nature protection' permit in order to carry out construction or renovation works for an existing building located less than 30 metres:
- from woods or forests of one hectare or more;
- from watercourses where a connection to the local sewage system is not possible or does not exist;
- from protected areas of communal, national or EU interest (Natura 2000).
Permits are namely required for projects involving:
- buildings (houses, sheds, storage buildings, barns, etc.);
- road, motorway, port and airport infrastructures (roads, bridges, mooring docks, runways, etc.);
- communication and telecommunication facilities (relay antennas, etc.);
- renewable energy systems (solar panels, wind turbines, etc.);
- energy, liquid or gas pipelines (heating, oil or gas pipelines, etc.);
- mines, sandpits, gravel pits and any collection of topsoil;
- any projects involving watercourses (catchment and disposal, course changes, etc.).
In addition, a permit is required for all projects located in an area covered by a PAG classified as a 'green area' with respect to:
- constructions intended for farming, gardening, market gardening, sylvicultural, viticultural, piscicultural, beekeeping or hunting purposes;
- constructions intended for public use;
- transport, communication, telecommunication and renewable energy production facilities as well as energy, liquid or gas pipelines;
- the opening of mines, sandpits, quarries or gravel pits;
- the collection of topsoil from surface areas in excess of 100 m²;
- inert waste deposits exceeding a volume of 50 m³;
- water intake and pumping activities;
- drainage, dredging, direct or indirect water diversions, strengthening of banks and straightening of watercourse beds;
- creation of ponds or artificial lakes;
- creation of a landfill;
- reconstruction, external renovation or extension of an existing construction.
How to proceed
The application must include:
- an extract from the land register with a scale of 1:2,500 indicating the location of the project;
- an extract from the topographical map with a scale of 1:20,000 indicating the location of the project;
- a copy of the construction or renovation plans with indication of the measures (for construction works);
- a longitudinal and cross-section profile (in case of backfilling).
The application must clearly describe the planned construction or renovation.
Filing an application
The applicant must send a 'nature protection' permit application to the Department of the Environment.
Applications must be sent in 4 copies (one original and 3 copies) by registered letter.
Where the project is also subject to a water permit, applicants do not need to submit a separate application for a 'nature protection' permit.
It is enough to submit a water permit application to the Water Management Authority, who will forward the application to the Department of the Environment.
The permit is usually issued within 2 months after the complete application has been submitted.
The nature protection permit does not release the applicant from having to obtain any other permits that may be required, such as:
- a building permit;
- a road-building permit (permission de voirie);
- a deforestation/clearing permit;
- a 'CFL road-building permit;
- an operating permit for classified establishments.
Forms / Online services
Protection de la nature et des ressources naturelles - autorisation
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