The requirement of a road-building permit (permission de voirie) for the installation of temporary or permanent structures adjacent to the public railway network is aimed at improving the safety of the railway users.
Any natural or legal person planning to carry out development or construction works alongside a railway must apply for a road-building permit from one of the Regional Services of the National Roads Administration.
Who is concerned
A road-building permit for the railway network is required for any construction, planting or other works carried out on property bordering the railway line at a distance of less than 10 metres from the edge of the railway line.
No developments of any kind may be carried out at a distance of less than 2 metres from the edge of the railway line.
The outer edge of the railway line stops at either the edge of the embankment or the outer edge of the ditch. Failing this, the edge shall be considered to be located at 1.5 metres from the outer rail of the railway tracks.
Planned developments outside of this 10 metre limit are not subject to a road-building permit provided that they are carried out in compliance with the authorised procedures.
Specialised intermediaries (engineering offices, architects, etc.) can offer assistance with regard to the formalities to be completed with the administrations.
In exceptional cases, it is possible to submit a request for a permit in principle to one of the Regional Services of the National Roads Administration.
Businesses who intend to carry out infrastructure works along public roads, namely works concerning telecommunication, gas, electricity or water networks, etc., can consult the National Road Works Register before submitting their application for a road-building permit.
The register lets a business check if someone else has already planned a project on the same plot of land and hence enables said business to achieve cost reductions by sharing the cost for infrastructure works based on an agreement between 2 or more concerned businesses and other interested parties.
How to proceed
Preparing the application
Each application for a road-building permit must be accompanied by the following documents:
- a recent extract from the land register of the parcel of land concerned;
- a plan of the project (scale of 1:1,000 or 1:500) showing the development or construction works with respect to the railway line: this plan must show the full width of the railway line;
- where applicable, a longitudinal cross-section of the railway line;
- an extract from the general development plan (PAG) including the maps, legend (key) and extract corresponding to the written part of the general development plan for planned developments and constructions on the periphery of towns as well as for business park or housing estate projects;
- where applicable, a plan of the facade facing the railway line and a plan of any other facades with a garage entrance;
- where applicable, a plan of basements, lower ground floors or other floors where the individual or collective garages are located;
- for transformation works:
- either 2 plans, with one showing the current situation before the works and the other showing the situation after the planned transformation;
- or a plan with the indication of the type of works using the colour code defined in the guide for ministerial road-building permits (Guide d'application pour l'établissement des permissions de voirie ministérielles).
For large-scale projects likely to result in significant traffic to and from the area, the preparation of a traffic study may be required. Similarly, for construction works that involve significant excavation works, a geotechnical study or assessment may be required.
Ministerial road-building permit
After obtaining the information and documents required, applicants must send their road-building permit application to the competent officer at the Regional Services of the National Roads Administration.
As soon as the application is received, an acknowledgement of receipt indicating the number allocated to the dossier and the name of the person in charge of the dossier is sent to the applicant.
The competent Regional Service of the National Roads Administration sends a copy of the application to Luxembourg's national railway company (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois - CFL) for their opinion.
Where applicable, any modifications requested by the National Roads Administration must be made to the project.
A 3-month investigation period should be expected.
Road-building permits for development works with a definitive purpose are valid for a period of 2 years. Within this period, the beneficiary of the permit must have commenced and terminated the authorised development and construction works.
An extension must be requested no later than 3 months after the end date indicated on the road-building permit in the following cases:
- the construction work has not yet begun;
- the construction work is under way but not yet finalised.
Only one extension per road-building permit may be granted.
The road-building permit does not release the applicant from having to obtain other permits which may be required, in particular when purchasing land or a building:
- a building permit;
- an operating permit for classified establishments;
- an authorisation with regard to the protection of nature;
- a water permit;
- a deforestation / clearing permit;
- an authorisation with regard to installing a commercial sign or advertisement panel;
- authorisations concerning developments or works alongside public roads.