Road permits (permission de voirie, a type of authorisation granted for works carried out near a public area) are required in order to improve the safety of road users with respect to temporary or permanent structures set up alongside national and local roads (state roads).
Any natural or legal person planning to carry out development or construction works alongside a public road must apply for a road permit:
- either to the regional services of the National Roads Authority (direct road permits);
- or to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Public Works Department (ministerial road permits).
Who is concerned
A road permit is required for any construction, planting or other works carried out on property bordering the road at a distance of less than 15 metres from the edge of the footpath or verge closest to the property.
This distance is increased to 25 metres in the case of a road for which a definitive general building line plan exists:
- N 1 from Luxembourg to Trier;
- N 3 from Luxembourg to Frisange;
- N 5 from Luxembourg to Longwy;
- N 6 from Luxembourg to Arlon;
- N 7 between Luxembourg and Diekirch;
- N 10 between Schengen and Wasserbillig;
- N 31 from Luxembourg to Bettembourg via Dudelange;
- E 29 from Luxembourg to Remich (N 2);
- E 29 from Luxembourg to Echternach (N 11).
Planned developments outside these limits and the developments listed below carried out within these limits are not subject to a road permit provided that they are carried out in compliance with the authorised procedures:
- putting up road signs and painting road markings within towns;
- painting white pictograms representing road sign symbols within towns;
- putting up signs with the names of streets and public squares;
- placing fire hydrants and markers signalling water supply covers;
- putting up signs marking tourist trails and pedestrian circuits as well as road markings signalling communal bicycle lanes;
- putting up removable advertising signs;
- putting up the advertising signs of architects, research consultancies and businesses working on a building site on a public part of the road;
- putting a container for debris in a public or private place but not on a road;
- putting up satellite dishes;
- putting up house numbers and fixing letterboxes to existing plinths.
Specialised intermediaries (research consultancies, architects, etc.) can offer assistance with regard to the formalities to be completed with the administrations.
Before applying for authorisation, the applicant must contact the competent Regional Department of the National Roads Authority for information on the formalities to be completed.
In the case of developments or structures within the stipulated limits, 2 types of road permit are possible:
- ministerial road permits (analysed by the Minister for Sustainable Development) in the following cases:
- the construction or renovation of houses alongside a road;
- the development of housing estates and business parks alongside the road;
- the construction of service stations;
- the placing of road signs and directional road markings;
- road works on road foundations;
- the laying of underground infrastructure below or beside roads;
- direct road permits (analysed directly by the Regional Departments of the National Roads Authority) in the following cases:
- various structures for farming or forestry purposes to be carried out outside the urban perimeter;
- temporary structures related to a construction site;
- redevelopment and renovation works with respect to existing structures;
- underground infrastructures;
- advertising signs;
- road facilities.
Businesses planning 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 permit.The Register lets a business check if someone else has already submitted an application for a road permit concerning 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 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 1:1000 or 1:500) showing the development or construction works with respect to the public road: this plan must show the full width of the public road with precise horizontal markings indicating the different traffic lanes (normal lanes, bus lanes, bicycle lanes), parking lanes and footpaths;
- where applicable, a longitudinal cross-section of all the car entrances (individual and collective);
- an extract from the general development plan including the graphs, legend 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 façade facing the public road and a plan of any other façades with garage entrances;
- where applicable, a plan of basements or levels on which individual or collective garages are located;
- for renovations:
- 2 plans, one before the works and one showing the planned renovations;
- or indication of the type of works on a plan using the colour code defined in the guide for ministerial road 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 any construction requiring significant excavation work, geotechnical studies or assessments may be required.
Authorisation of principle
For some projects subject to a ministerial road permit it is possible to previously apply for an authorisation of principle.
The following projects are concerned:
- business parks;
- housing estates;
- groups of houses, and;
- individual houses, in exceptional circumstances.
The authorisation of principle lays down the guidelines for a given project such as the building line of constructions or the type, number, width and inclines of entrances. It does not authorise the construction but allows for more in-depth and refined studies to be carried out, in particular where several authorisations are required.
At this stage in the procedure, more detailed information, such as traffic or geotechnical studies, etc., may be requested.
In the event that an authorisation of principle is obtained, definitive authorisation must be applied for within 2 years, failing which the authorisation of principle shall become null and void.
Direct or ministerial road permits
After obtaining the information and documents required, applicants must send their road permit application to the competent Regional Department of the National Roads Authority.
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.
Where applicable, any modifications requested by the National Roads Authority must be made to the project.
Applications for ministerial road permits are generally processed within 2 weeks.
Direct applications are generally processed within a week.
Validity of the road permit
Road permits for development works that have a definitive purpose are valid for a period of 2 years. Within this period, the beneficiary thereof must have commenced and terminated the authorised development and construction works.
A road permit may be extended only once. The request for an extension must be introduced within 3 months following the expiration of the validity period indicated on the road permit.
The road permit does not release the applicant from having to obtain any other permits that may be required, in particular when purchasing land or a building:
- a building permit;
- an operating permit for classified establishments (called 'commodo / incommodo' authorisation );
- an authorisation with regard to the protection of nature;
- an authorisation with regard to water extraction or disposal or works close to a watercourse;
- a deforestation / clearing permit;
- an authorisation with regard to installing a commercial business sign or advertising sign;
- a road permit for developments or works alongside a railway line.