Refusal of a building permit: what recourse?
The mayor or the prefect has just refused your building permit? You want to know if you can force him to give you the authorization? You consider that the refusal is based on a poor ground?
When the town hall accepts your building permit, this decision takes the form of a decree (see our article on this point). If the town hall does not accept your building permit, you should know that an appeal is always possible against this decision.
My building permit has been refused, what are my recourses?
1. Decisions that can be appealed
Generally speaking, it is necessary to know that the appeal against a decision of refusal of a building permit is always possible.
Has your building permit been withdrawn ? Can you appeal against this decision?
The decision to refuse a building permit can be appealed in the same way as all the unfavorable decisions that may have been taken in your regard. A withdrawal of a building permit is also a decision that can be appealed. This is also the case of a stay of proceedings or a refusal to issue a certificate of obtaining a tacit permit.
And in the same way as against a decision to refuse a building permit, you can appeal against the following decisions
Decision requiring additional documents: note that the cancellation of this decision does not have the effect of authorizing the underlying building permit
Decision to authorize a building permit insofar as it contains requirements that accompany the authorization
On the other hand, all opinions issued against your application before the final decision cannot be appealed. This is the case of an unfavorable opinion issued during the instruction phase, for example. These opinions are more preparatory measures than real decisions.
2. What form does the appeal take?
If you appeal against a decision of refusal of a building permit, you can act under several different forms.
The gracious appeal
When a building permit has been refused, you can ask the town hall to reconsider its position within 2 months following the refusal by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
This request, which is usually written, extends the time limit for legal action.
The hierarchical appeal
When a building permit has been refused, you can also exercise a hierarchical appeal.
This appeal is only possible when the decision is taken on behalf of the State. It is lodged either with the prefect or with the minister in charge of town planning. This appeal also extends the time limit for contentious appeal.
The contentious appeal
When a building permit has been refused, you can exercise a contentious appeal which takes the form of an appeal for excess of power.
This appeal must be initiated by you at the administrative court of the place where the building is located.
It must be exercised within a period of 2 months from the notification of the contested act.
Beyond this period, there are still available recourses. Indeed, sometimes this time limit is not enforceable against you. For example, if the time limit for appeal was not mentioned in the notification of the decision to refuse a building permit, the 2-month time limit is not enforceable against you and you can still act.
Attention: even if the 2 months deadline is not opposable to you, you will have to take care to act within a maximum deadline of 1 year.
3. The motivation
When it comes to contesting a decision of refusal of a building permit, there are two legal grounds:
- the means of external legality
- the means of internal legality
These grounds cover precise reasons and must be invoked in a meticulous manner by the applicant, otherwise the request will be declared inadmissible.
Precision: as regards an appeal against a refusal of a building permit, the judge exercises a complete control over the assessments that the Administration has made on the situation in question. This means that if the judge makes a different assessment, the refusal will be annulled.
4. The consequences of the cancellation of the refusal of a permit
It is important to note at this stage that you cannot consider that you have become the holder of a tacit building permit.
When the decision to refuse a building permit is annulled, the competent authority must decide again on the building permit application.
During this new examination, the competent authority will not be able to oppose the reason which was censured by the administrative court.
Precision: You should know that when you obtain a decision of cancellation of a refusal of a building permit, you are protected thereafter against an unfavorable evolution of the local urbanism plan which would allow to oppose you regularly a second refusal.
Do you have other questions concerning the refusal of a building permit that has just been addressed to you? Do you wish to be advised to request the cancellation of this unfavorable decision?
Contact us and an expert lawyer in urban planning / construction belonging to the AGN Avocats network will meet with you!