The Content Of The Article:

In the classified zone, it is necessary to request a special work authorization to carry out modifications outdoors. Interior facilities such as heating, lighting or piping, are exempt from authorization, except for classified homes which are protected for their exterior as well as their interior. What are the peculiarities of work permits in classified areas?

Authorization to work in a classified zone

Authorization to work in a classified zone

What is a classified area?

Protected areas or classified areas are divided into 4 types:

  • The surroundings of a historical monument,
  • Classified or registered sites,
  • Saved sectors,
  • Architectural, Urban and Landscape Heritage Protection Zones (ZPPAUP) to be upgraded to AVAP by July 2016.

According to the law on historical monuments "When a building is located in the field of view of a classified or listed building, it can not be the object of any new construction, whether by private owners or by public authorities and institutions. no demolition, deforestation, alteration or modification likely to affect its appearance, without prior authorizatione (Article 13a, first paragraph).

Therefore, to carry out works without prior authorization or without respecting the urban planning rules of the classified zone constitutes a criminal offense.

The specificities of the classified areas

The protection perimeter

Listed or registered historic monuments are protected for their architectural qualities, cultural or historical, but also for their immediate environment: the surroundings of the building are protected by a protective servitude in a radius of 500m. The law provides for a right of inspection over all works envisaged in this perimeter: this includes the external modifications of existing buildings and new constructions.


The building environment is also the way we see it. The 3 rules of co-visibility are: the protected monument is visible from the site of work - the monument, we see the site of work - both are visible together from any point. Only the ABF can estimate co-visibility.

The different types of authorization for classified areas

The file of request for authorization of works in classified zone is to be sent or to deposit with the city hall which will transmit it to the competent services for opinion: the prefect of region if the building is classified, the prefect of department if the building is registered, the departmental commission of sites if the whole area is classified. In any case, the architect of the Buildings of France (Directorate General of Cultural Affairs - DRAC) will be consulted.

There are several types of permissions:

  • The prior declaration: to be deposited for exterior work on an existing building or a new building of less than 20 m2. Maximum period of instruction: 2 months including 1 for the opinion of the ABF.
  • The permit to demolish: to be deposited for any demolition even partial of a building. Maximum period of instruction: 3 months; 1 year for classified sites.
  • The building permit: to be deposited if the works modify the structure or the destination of the building, create a ground surface of more than 20 m2. Maximum period of instruction: between 6 months for the edges of a historic monument and 1 year for classified sites.

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